Hurricane Florence: Michael Jordan Donates $2M to Relief and Recovery Operations

Michael Jordan has joined the recovery efforts hoping to bring some relief to the areas devastated by Hurricane Florence.

The six-time NBA champion has donated $2 million to the relief and recovery operations, with $1 million each going to the American Red Cross and to the Foundation for the Carolinas' Hurricane Florence Response Fund.

Jordan said the decision to help out his home state was a logical step after seeing the destruction Florence caused in the Carolinas.

"It just hits home," Jordan told The Associated Press. "I know all of those places: Wilmington, Fayetteville, Myrtle Beach, New Bern, and Wallace.... So quite naturally it hits home, and I felt like I had to act in a sense that this is my home."

Since the hurricane made landfall last week, 34 people have been reported dead, 26 in North Carolina. Florence battered the Carolinas, leaving behind a trail of destruction, including extensive flooding, damaged homes and several power outages.

A North Carolina native, Jordan grew up and went to high school in Wilmington before helping the North Carolina Tar Heels win an NCAA title during his three years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

GettyImages-648085700
Michael Jordan speaks to the crowd at halftime during a game in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on March 4, 2017. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The former NBA star retains a strong bond with North Carolina as the owner of the Charlotte Hornets and has several friends and relatives living in the state's coastal area.

His nephew attends the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and Jordan spent last weekend trying to get in touch with family and friends as he closely followed the hurricane's path.

The five-time MVP said having the chance to help his home state when it needed it most felt appropriate after all the support he has received throughout his career.

"I have been one of the lucky ones to move on and build an unbelievable career," he said. "It just makes it a little more special when you can actually help out an area you know very, very well."

He added, "At the end of the day, it makes you think about the path that you have taken and where your life has taken you. 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."

Aside from his donation, Jordan confirmed that the Hornets have teamed up with Fanatics to sell specially designed T-shirts to raise funds for the rescue operation. The shirts, which are available online at NBAstore.com, Fanatics.com and HornetsFanShop.com for $24.99, carry the Hornets logo in the middle of the silhouettes of North and South Carolina, surrounded by the words "Carolina Strong."

The team has said 100 percent of the net proceeds will go to the Foundation for the Carolinas' Hurricane Florence Response Fund, while the Hornets Foundation will make a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, in Charlotte.

Additionally, the Hornets' official food partner, Food Lion, will donate food to be packed in disaster food boxes at the bank on Friday, with over 100 members of the Hornets organization set to help with the operation.

"We reached out to try to find as many partners who are willing to sacrifice and give to this cause," Jordan said.

"The Red Cross will deal with the immediate food and shelter and the Foundation for the Carolinas will deal more with the long-term assistance. This is not a short-term thing. This is going to be a process, but it is going to take time," he added.

Hurricane Florence: Michael Jordan Donates $2M to Relief and Recovery Operations | Sports