CeƖeƄɾɑtιng Kyɾie Iɾʋιng: Recognιzing Hιs IмpɑctfᴜƖ Cιʋιc ContɾιƄᴜtιons ιn tҺe CҺιмe Coммᴜnιty (Video)

Dallas Mavericks star Kyrie Irving has been named the Dallas Mavs Chime Community Spotlight award winner (April 2023), thanks to his commendable contributions to the community this past season. The Chime Community Spotlight honor is given to Dallas Mavs players throughout the season who use their resources and influence to impact the lives of others.

This season alone, Irving donated close to $2 million towards various GoFundMe initiatives to support the immediate needs of others, along with boosting morale for social justice campaigns and other personal passions.

Oftentimes, his public support would spur even greater interest towards a certain person or cause, thus raising even more funds for those in need.

“Kyrie Irving’s decision to donate via various GoFundMe initiatives illustrates his heart and strongly felt belief that individuals can use their resources to alleviate human suffering,” said Hannah Sherertz, who oversees Dallas Mavs community relations outreach efforts.

“Irving’s donations brought heightened awareness to societal issues and relief to families experiencing traumatic events,” she said. “Typically Irving expresses he does not want nor expect notoriety for his giving; he wants to leave a positive impact that encourages everyone to find their tribe, embrace their heritage, and leave the world much better than they found it.”

Irving has connected with local nonprofits since arriving in Dallas, like the organization For Oak Cliff. The outreach focuses on liberating Oak Cliff (a neighborhood in Southern Dallas) from systemic oppression through a culture of education while increasing mobility and social capital.

Irving was also quick to join the Mavericks’ fundraising efforts for the Mavs Foundation’s annual Mavs Ball – starting a bidding war to attend the State Fair of Texas with Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell in the fall. Irving donated $12,500 towards the prize.

In March 2023, Irving greatly impacted a young man named Cameron Mofid, a 22-year-old valedictorian from the University of Miami. Mofid is on a mission to become one of the youngest to visit every country worldwide and has seen 119 out of 195 countries. After visiting an orphanage in West Africa, he launched a GoFundMe upon his return to the US to help raise funds for both a school and an orphanage.

Mofid’s original goal was $5,000, which he surpassed in the first week, reaching $10,000 thanks to donations from more than 200 people.

Then one morning, he awoke to a large donation out of the blue.

Irving, someone Mofid had never met, gave a single donation of $45,000. His contribution will provide clean drinking water for 351 students at a local school, and 30 orphans will receive shoes, uniforms, books and backpacks.

“I didn’t know who Kyrie was until he donated to our community, but I know now that Kyrie is such a generous man with the heart of humanity,” said 25-year-old Sunday Shemende, the primary school’s director, in an interview with NBA.com. “He is looking out for us when everyone else has forgotten about us.

“Kyrie’s donation will change the lives of not only the kids but all those living in Makoko. On behalf of the 250,000 people living in Makoko, I thank you with all the love in our hearts.”

Irving told NBA.com that his family ties to Ghana and his desire to help others led to his act of generosity.

“There’s just so much going on in our world that I just try to do little acts of kindness every single day. There’s so much going on at times that it could be very confusing and emotional, especially growing up as a melanated man,” Irving said. “Over in Accra and Ghana, it was my family members over there. I have brothers and sisters that live in Accra, Ghana, and I’ve helped out one of my other young kings from New Jersey, who is from one of the tribes over there, and I have uncles who have gone over there and been initiated into the tribe.

“It’s more of a family atmosphere that I’m really investing in — our village and our tribe. The messages really go a long way, just because I know it’s making an impact. The people running it have not been the best quality of people, so I do my best to read people’s foundational messages and their missions. It’s not just going to GoFundMe.

“I actually go to their websites and try to do research on who is on the GoFundMe pages because it’s a public platform. Anybody could get got at any time. I just do my best to do research, and be a beacon of light for humanity as best I can outside of the court.”

In March 2023, Irving donated $38,000 to North Texas crash victims from India who attended the University of North Texas. Vaani Yadlapati died in the crash. Sharath Yedavelli and a friend survived. All the students were in the United States on a visa with little to no insurance to pay for medical bills, funeral arrangements and burial efforts for Yadlapati, who was only 20 years old and getting her master’s in data science at UNT. Her family opened a GoFundMe in hopes of raising money to ease the financial burdens for all those involved.

They were shocked to see a single donation by an unfamiliar name: Kyrie Irving. The families searched his name on Google to learn more about him.

“[It’s about] little acts of kindness every single day. I do my best to have discernment of reading people’s foundational messages and their missions,” Irving said in a press conference in early March.

The Dallas Mavs guard also donated towards other families who endured tragedy this past NBA season.

Back in November, he gave $50,000 to the family of Virginia University player Devin Chandler after his tragic death at the hands of a classmate. Chandler and two UVA teammates were gunned down, while two others were injured and hospitalized.

Around that same time, the 31-year-old donated $65,000 to the family of Shanquella Robinson. Robinson’s family received $15,000 and another $50,000 to push the campaign’s goal over the $350,000 threshold. Robinson, a 25-year-old hairstylist from Charlotte, died on a birthday trip with several friends in Cabo, Mexico. The footage of her beating was widely circulated on social media. Robinson died from a cracked spine and broken neck. The FBI has since opened an investigation into her death.

These are just a few of the numerous efforts Irving made this season to improve the lives of those whom he felt led to support.

His impact is felt on both large and small scales. When WNBA players opted out of playing in the 2020 season, Irving paid $1.5M out of his pocket to cover their salary and help them in their struggles against the WNBA.

He’s also deeply passionate about his KAI Family Foundation; the mission of the organization is to build self-sustaining communities and ensure often overlooked families feel heard, inspired, and powerful. Founded by Irving, he saw educational and food security needs in neighborhoods like his family’s hometown in New Jersey and native Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. He wanted to be an agent of support.

The foundation believes all families should feel confident that their community has resources to sustain them and elevate the next generation. KAIFF is designed to support and equip young people and communities with the resources they need to thrive.

Another goal of Irving’s is to help black farmers across the country. He has learned that the black community is underrepresented in the farming industry due to systematic underfunding and low loan approvals. In New Jersey, Irving invested in black farmer organizations and committed to helping black farmers prosper.

The Dallas Mavs community relations team, along with jersey patch sponsor, Chime, are pleased to recognize Kyrie Irving for his community outreach this season. To learn more about Chime, click here.

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