Rising Spotlight: Thompson, Friends Of The Children Work Together To Improve Lives Of At-Risk Kids In Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A local and national non-profit have teamed up to help change the lives of at-risk kids in Charlotte.

Will Jones, president and CEO of Thompson, stopped by Rising to talk about a program called “Friends of the Children”.

Over the last year, Friends of the Children- Charlotte began its 12.5-year commitment to Charlotte’s most vulnerable youth. Paid, professional mentors started their work with the first 16 children who will receive this life-changing service.  Since their journey began, the community has taken notice, including one of the world’s most recognized athletes, Michael Jordan.

In May 2018, Michael Jordan announced his support for Friends of the Children. The Jordan team donated proceeds from the sale of a special edition Bulls jersey to the 15 chapters of the program across the United States and the U.K.

The donation will go in part to support the program chapter here in Charlotte. As the owner of the Charlotte Hornets and a UNC alumnus, Jordan’s donation will help grow the impact this program creates for the youth in the community.

Last week Jordan and his team announced a multi-million dollar gift to Friends of the Children.  This investment in the organization comes from the donation of the proceeds from his upcoming ESPN Films and Netflix documentary series, “The Last Dance.”

Children with the organization’s mentors see exponentially higher graduation rates, significantly decreased involvement in the juvenile justice system and a 98% avoidance of teen parenthood.