Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan is making a record-breaking $10 million donation to Make-A-Wish America in honor of his upcoming 60th birthday, the organization announced Wednesday.
The gift is the largest given by an individual in the foundation’s 43-year history.
Jordan, who turns 60 on Friday, hopes his donation will inspire others to support Make-A-Wish.
“For the past 34 years, it’s been an honor to partner with Make-A-Wish and help bring a smile and happiness to so many kids,” the Charlotte Hornets owner said in a statement.
“Witnessing their strength and resilience during such a tough time in their lives has truly been an inspiration. I can’t think of a better birthday gift than seeing others join me in supporting Make-A-Wish so that every child can experience the magic of having their wish come true.”
The first wish Jordan granted happened in 1989. He has “granted hundreds of wishes to children all over the world,” according to the organization.
Jordan was named a Make-A-Wish ambassador “for the life-changing impact he has had on wish kids and their families” in 2008.
“Michael using his birthday as a chance to make history for Make-A-Wish speaks to the quality of his character and his loyal dedication to making life better for children with critical illnesses,” said Leslie Motter, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America.
“We hope that the public will be inspired to follow in his footsteps by helping make wishes come true.”
Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA, won five MVP awards and won six titles before retiring for a final time in 2003.
He has enjoyed lucrative endorsement deals with Nike, Hanes, Gatorade and Upper Deck, among others, and has donated millions to social and charitable causes over the years.