Famous and Celebrity Philanthropists
Jalen Rose: Chicago Bulls Guard and Active Philanthropist
Recently the Foundation Center (FC) had a "virtual" sit-down with Jalen Rose, Chicago Bulls Guard, to ask him why he got involved in philanthropy and his plans for grantmaking.
The Jalen Rose Foundation was established at the Giving Back Fund to show Jalen's appreciation for the communities where he has lived and played basketball. Grants are distributed in Detroit, Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, and Indianapolis, Indiana.
FC: Hello Jalen and thanks for joining us! Tell us about the Jalen Rose Foundation and other philanthropic work that you do.
Jalen: The mission of my foundation is to provide funding for programs that support single parent families; to work with community kitchens to provide meals to individuals and families in need; and to support nonprofit organizations that assist deserving children in achieving their primary education/college goals.
At every Chicago Bulls home game at the United Center, The Jalen Rose Foundation sponsors a charity ticket section for a local non-profit group. Each child receives a ticket to the game, a "Rose Garden" T-shirt, as well as an opportunity to meet with me before the game. Through the course of the season, we will have donated close to 1,000 tickets to local children.
I'm also a member of the Board of Directors for Athletes for a Better Detroit. The organization's mission is provide for the operation of a recreational and educational complex in the City of Detroit, where I'm from.
FC: Who or what inspired you to get involved?
Jalen: The following quote from Winston Churchill sums up the reason I feel it is necessary to give back: "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." I am fortunate to be able to give back and it is a big part of who I am. Being in the NBA I learned that the things I do and say influence others, no matter if I'm playing a game or sitting in a restaurant. People are looking to me to see what I'm doing all the time.
FC: What kind of impact do you hope your philanthropic work will have?
Jalen: I am doing the best I can to be a positive influence in the communities I have lived and played basketball in and I hope my philanthropic work has made a difference and touched the lives of those less fortunate.
I really believe that with my success comes responsibility. I have more than I ever expected, but true success will be demonstrated in how I help others.
FC: And finally, what advice would you give to young people who are thinking about getting involved in community work and philanthropy?
Jalen: Don't think about it, do it! It is a very rewarding experience to help others. Making an impact in your community is important and this is one way to accomplish that goal.
FC: Thank you very much for talking with us, and thanks also to the Giving Back Fund for arranging it.
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