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The way this NBA star gave back to a local deaf school will make you a fan.

Zach LaVine's big donation to a local school for deaf children is a win for humanity.

The way this NBA star gave back to a local deaf school will make you a fan.

Maybe you've heard of Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine, known for his monster dunks.

He's the kind of guy who can do stuff like this.


All GIFs from NBA/YouTube.

And this.

So it probably shouldn't come as a big surprise that he won the NBA's Slam Dunk Contest for the second year in a row.

Even better? He took $10,000 of his slam dunk prize money and donated it to the Metro Deaf School in St. Paul, Minnesota.

After getting drafted by the Timberwolves in 2014, he was on the lookout for a way to give back to the community. As it turns out, LaVine took American Sign Language classes in high school and college, and what he learned there made him want to help the MDS.

The school didn't have a kitchen, so LaVine donated his dunk contest winnings to build one.

Not only that, but he was there on the first day helping serve the school's students:


"The biggest part for me growing up was interacting with kids during lunch time and recess," he told ESPN. "They get all their meals catered in. I just thought it would be cool for them to be able to socialize and be able to hang out with each other, eat food together, instead of having to sit in class and eat."

The kids were surprised to learn LaVine knew sign language, making him an even bigger hero in their minds.

"The kids were like, 'He knows how to sign!'" Susan Lane-Outlaw, the school's executive director, told ESPN. "That's the biggest thing. He knows American Sign Language. I think the kids connect with that. From there it just blossomed."


It's always cool when athletes give back to the local community, but this was truly a *ahem* slam-dunk move on his part.

Way to go, Zach LaVine! Good on you!

You can watch LaVine take on Aaron Gordon in this year's Slam Dunk Contest finals below.

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.