Home Sports Sports and Philanthropy: How North Carolina Athletes Give Back to Their Community

Sports and Philanthropy: How North Carolina Athletes Give Back to Their Community

by Maria L. Searle
Sports and Philanthropy

Sporting nonprofits, charities, and philanthropy is nothing new in North Carolina. This sentiment reigns specifically true regarding the athletes that have stemmed from the Tar Heel State and have gone on to achieve remarkable careers or are still working towards the top of their respective sports.

In celebration of the giving nature that’s long been present in North Carolina, join us in taking a deeper dive into how athletes, sporting franchises, and communities continuously show their gratefulness by giving back.


FORevHER Tar Heels

Carolina women’s sports have a significant history with 44 national championship crowns, 49 individual national championships, and two current Hall of Fame coaches. The astonishing array of professional options our female student-athlete alumni created is even more remarkable. Carolina women, including physicians, CEOs, and teachers, have consistently shown that their achievements in many fields are only the start of their global influence.

FORevHER Tar Heels is a program organized by The Rams Club and Carolina Athletics to honor and support the women who have been part of Carolina Athletics throughout history and in the present and future.

The $100 million initiative, which began in October 2019, supported female student-athletes at UNC. Organizers have focused greater emphasis on Carolina’s women’s programs. Moreover, it has supported female student-athletes after their playing careers.

Dribbling for Cancer

In 2022, the Tar Heels participated in the school’s first Dribble for Victory Over Cancer event, along with other Carolina teams and community members, to raise money for pediatric cancer research.

A prominent University of North Carolina group met in Carmichael Arena for an inaugural event. The UNC band and cheerleaders then accompanied them as they dribbled across the campus, passing by landmarks such as the Old Well and Bell Tower. The event concluded back at Carmichael Arena to recognize the most successful fundraisers.

The event’s earnings will support pediatric cancer research at the UNC Children’s Research Institute via the Dick Vitale Fund for Pediatric Cancer, a dedicated grant fund at the V Foundation. UNC collaborated with the V Foundation and the PCRF for the event.

A Tar Heels Legend Giving Back

Michael Jordan is renowned for excelling in basketball and his personal life.

He tends to spend extravagantly, owning a collection of desirable automobiles, superyachts, and other homes. But many people don’t realize that his philanthropic contributions are enormous and exceed the worth of his priciest possessions.

Indeed, the former Tar Heels shooting guard and Chicago Bulls icon is no stranger to indulging in his passions, including the thrill of a good wager or a casual visit to the casino. Should he find himself back in NC, he’ll find the landscape quite accommodating. The rapid growth in the number of betting platforms across North Carolina has sparked remarkable enthusiasm among residents, making it easier than ever for locals to engage in such activities.

Of course, the former Tar Heels shooting guard and Chicago Bulls legend doesn’t shy away from splurging on himself; he’s never denied this. He particularly loves a big wager or two, sometimes a dabble at the casino, which would be convenient should he ever return to NC because the explosion of betting sites in North Carolina has witnessed an unprecedented interest from locals.

However, treating himself shouldn’t be a surprise; he is arguably the greatest basketball player in history and owns the world’s most dominant shoe brand, Jordan. In contrast, giving back is where MJ truly excels.

In 2020, Jordan committed to investing $100 million in improving his town and combating injustice, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The basketball star is providing financial support to many charitable groups via his Jordan Brand and has done so for decades.

Just know, he could purchase an additional superyacht and Bugatti Veyron with that much and still have money left over, but giving, besides basketball, is what he does best!

This is not the only noteworthy charitable act MJ has made. He actively supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation by donating his money and time to the cause. Also, he gave a $10 million contribution to Make-A-Wish for his 60th birthday, the most they have ever received.

A Long List of Carolina Panthers-Ran Charities and Nonprofits

Merchandise Donation

The Panthers support North and South Carolina nonprofit groups by donating products via their program. The club contributes Carolina Panthers memorabilia to auctions, raffles, and fundraising events for nonprofit groups in the community.

Ticket Donation Requests

Carolina Panthers provide free tickets to nonprofit groups benefiting youngsters and the military in the Carolinas, funded by contributions from Carolina Panthers PSL Owners.

Community Grants

Carolina Panthers Charities Funding is accessible to nonprofit organizations focusing on educational, athletic, and human services in North and South Carolina communities. Resources are provided to arts, scientific, and civic groups throughout the Carolinas. Grants are given annually to tax-exempt and charitable nonprofit organizations, meeting the criteria of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Hometown Huddle

The NFL Hometown Huddle is an annual event when the Panthers collaborate with the United Way to visit communities, promote the PLAY 60 message, and emphasize the significance of community service. The Panthers provide PLAY 60 grants to schools and service groups in North and South Carolina to promote youth health and wellness activities during the Hometown Huddle.

Keep Pounding 5k

The Keep Pounding 5K is an annual event held in the spring, with a unique route that involves running inside Bank of America Stadium and finishing on the field. The funds were raised to support cancer research for adults and children, as well as patient care services at Atrium Health’s Levine Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital.

Wrap Up

To wrap it up, North Carolina’s sports scene is all about giving back. From programs like FORevHER Tar Heels to Michael Jordan’s big moves and the Carolina Panthers’ community work, it’s clear that sports go beyond the game, making a real difference in people’s lives.

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