If you are like most people, you will recognize Dikembe Mutombo from his incredible shot blocks and the hilarious finger wag. Off the court, Mutombo’s infamous “No, no, no” becomes “Yes, yes, yes” in terms of charity. Mutombo came to the NBA from the Democratic Republic of Congo with the goal of returning with help. The giant Center played all over the NBA, impressing the country as he led the league in blocks year after year. Ending his career in 2008, he has the second most blocks in the NBA.
In 1997, he founded the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation to improve the community in the DRC. The foundation works to help spread awareness about health through an emphasis on primary care and disease prevention. This foundation still succeeds through this day, saving the lives of hundreds of thousands in the war-torn area. Mutombo shocked the world in 2001 when he donated $15 million to build a hospital in his hometown. This hospital is the first modern medical facility in 50 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mutomobo still uses his image all around the world playing basketball and teaching the importance of giving back to those in a time of need.
“When you take the elevator to the top, please don’t forget to send it down, so that someone else can take it to the top.”
Detroit Lions NFL player Ndamukong Suh is best known for his aggressive style of playing football. It has served him well as he has racked up awards starting in his college football days. Maybe it is all the awards he earned at his alma mater University of Nebraska, that has led him to donate two million to the university as well as another 600,000 dollars to the university’s engineering program for an endowment scholarship. This made it the largest single gift from a former football player at the university.
Suh’s kindness continues with the creation of Suh Foundation in 2010. The foundation has already impacted the lives of over 2,000 children through its core values of education, health and wellness. The foundation has many different programs, such as SUHsday which is where Suh goes out into the community to volunteer during his days off from football season. Suh has also implemented a 90 Backpack Program where he identifies 90 students in need. The backpack is full of notebooks, folders, and anything else students might need to do well in school. Check out everything Suh is doing to give back at www.suhfoundation.org.
Michael Phelps took his passion for swimming and incorporated it into his foundation that promotes healthy and active lives for children. Michael Phelps used the one million dollars he received from his sponsor Speedo when he won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Since then Phelps has been working with Boys & Girls Club as well as developing a swimming program titled “im” with KidsHealth.org. The im program provides The Boys & Girls Club with training, staffing, equipment and more all to make sure they are running smoothly and supporting the children to depend on their services. On top of that the Michael Phelps Foundation im program promotes water-safety programs nationwide through offering water safety classes and other techniques that Phelps has implemented in his own swimming career. All of his charitable programs doesn’t go unnoticed as he was honored with a Humanitarian Award at the 34th annual American Image awards that is sponsored by American Apparel and Footwear association. Check out how you can get involved at www.michaelphelpsfoundation.com .