NBA legend Michael Jordan announced a $1 million donation to help the islands devastated by Hurricane Dorian.
Jordan’s spokesperson and manager, Estee Portnoy, released a Twitter statement on Jordan’s behalf on September 10. In the statement, Jordan said he would continue monitoring the situation closely and donate his funds to nonprofits that “will have the most impact.”
“I am devastated to see the destruction that Hurricane Dorian has brought to the Bahamas, where I own property and visit frequently,” Jordan said in a statement. “My heart goes out to everyone who is suffering and those who have lost loved ones.”
“The Bahamian people are strong and resilient and I hope that my donation will be of help as they work to recover from this catastrophic storm,” Jordan’s statement continued.
Hurricane Dorian devastated Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands during Labor Day weekend, leaving at least 70,000 people homeless, CNN reported. The storm, a Category 5 hurricane when it landed on the islands, killed at least 50 people, according to Carl Smith, a spokesman for the islands’ National Emergency Management Agency, Reuters reported. Officials and rescuers expect that number to increase as more bodies are found.
This is not the first time Jordan has donated money to help those impacted by hurricanes. In 2018, the former Chicago Bulls basketball star donated $2 million to help residents in North Carolina following Hurricane Florence, which caused destruction in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina and the surrounding area.
Jordan donated $1 million to the American Red Cross and another $1 million to the Foundation For The Carolinas’ Hurricane Florence Response Fund, the Associated Press (AP) previously reported. The six-time NBA champion told the AP that the hurricane really hit home for him.
“I know all of those places: Wilmington, Fayetteville, Myrtle Beach, New Bern, and Wallace, which is where my father is from,” Jordan said in a previous interview. “So quite naturally it hits home, and I felt like I had to act in a sense that this is my home.”
The Charlotte Hornets owner said he has several family members and friends who live on the coast of North Carolina. Days after the storm, he said it was difficult to get in touch with some of them to make sure they were okay and was relieved when he learned they were safe, the AP reported.
“At the end of the day, it makes you think about the path that you have taken, and where your life has taken you,” Jordan said. “And I just feel like, well, maybe if I can help in some sort of way all of the people, and all of the places, that have helped me along the road.”
Along with his donation, more than 100 members from the Hornets organization assisted with packing disaster food boxes for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina in Charlotte. The group sent over 5,000 individual meals to those affected by the hurricane, according to the AP. The Hornets Foundation also made a donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.
Other celebrities have offered their assistance to the Bahamian islands following Hurricane Dorian. Singer Rihanna tweeted that she was going to help Bahamian people through her nonprofit organization, the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF).
“It truly breaks my heart to see the complete devastation that #HurricaneDorian is having on the Bahamas,” Rihanna tweeted on September 2. “You are in our prayers and @ClaraLionelFdn is already figuring out how best we can help! #HurricaneDorian #Bahamas,” she added in a second tweet.
CLF previously announced that it is deploying an emergency grant to World Central Kitchen, a not-for-profit organization that provides meals to people who have been impacted by natural disasters. Another emergency grant will be donated to Direct Relief to help provide medical aid.
Hampton University has also offered to help displaced students in the Bahamas by offering them a free fall semester at the university. The HBCU made the announcement on September 5, stating that it was partnering with the University of the Bahamas to offer a free fall semester, including room and board.
“I think this agreement is something that can be helpful to a great number of students and families, and is part of something I’ve tried to do my entire career — helping people to achieve and meet their goals,” Hampton University president Dr. William R. Harvey said in the statement.
To find out more on how to help those impacted by Hurricane Dorian, click here.
About the Author
Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.