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Michael Jordan just donated $7 million to open Charlotte-area health clinics.

The Hall of Famer flaunts some off-court heroics with his latest donation.

Michael Jordan just donated $7 million to open Charlotte-area health clinics.

It's been nearly 18 years since basketball legend Michael Jordan called it quits, but this week, he proved he's still a champion.

According to the Associated Press, the former Chicago Bulls star and current Charlotte Hornets owner pledged to donate $7 million to local health centers in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Jordan played the role of on-court hero so often that it just makes sense that he'd do the same off the court. GIF from NBA/YouTube.


According to his spokesperson, Jordan was inspired to make the donation after coming across a study that revealed Charlotte was dead last in a survey of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. when it comes to economic mobility for children in poverty. According to the study's findings, Charlotte children born into the bottom 20% of local income levels had just a 4.4% chance of ever rising to the top 20% in their lifetimes.

The two new Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinics funded by Jordan's donation are slated to open in 2020.

"It is my hope that these clinics will help provide a brighter and healthier future for the children and families they serve," said Jordan in a press release.

On its website, Novant outlines how and why Jordan's donation will be so valuable, especially to low-income communities, writing that more than 100,000 Charlotte residents don't currently have health insurance, making access to basic health services extremely difficult. One of the goals of the new clinics will be to reduce the amount of emergency room usage, providing a more affordable option for low-income families.

"This gift will transform the lives of thousands of families and children living in poverty-stricken communities," said Novant Health president and CEO Carl Armato in the release. "We are thankful to Michael for his generosity. The gift will remove barriers to high-quality health care in some of the most vulnerable communities."

Jordan at the NBA All-Star Game in 2016. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

It's tragic that it takes a massive act of generosity from a blockbuster star like Jordan for at-risk communities to get the care they need.

The U.S. is among the most prosperous countries in the history of civilization, and yet it apparently cannot manage to take care of its citizens, with millions still without access to health care. Those numbers have improved in recent years, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but the message is that there is a long way to go before we live up to our often self-bestowed reputation as the "greatest country on Earth." So long as generations of families find poverty inescapable and so long as economic status can determine your ability to survive illness, there's work to be done.

We can't forget the wins, though — whether small or large. This donation is absolutely  worth celebrating for the families who will now be able to access care.

Like he did so many times during his Hall of Fame basketball career, Jordan came through when it really mattered. GIF from NBA/YouTube.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.