MCM | NBA Hall of Famer Visits Mozambique with UNICEF

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Dikembe Mutombo took a break from defending his house to visit a Mozambique hospital supported by UNICEF last week.

The former Houston Rocket took the sojourn to the southern African nation, alongside Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns, to spread awareness about UNICEF Kid Power–a program meant to combat malnutrition (affecting 16 million children worldwide) by motivating kids to be active.

Dikembe (a UNICEF board member) and Eric met with some of the children battling the illness. And discussed life-saving treatments UNICEF provides for malnourishment, like protein packets the org distributes to each child.

UNICEF Kid Power program also helps kids pay it forward. The more active kids are wearing their power bands, the more points they’ll earn to go on missions spreading the programs effectiveness. Thus saving lives.

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Dikembe did his part too by challenging the local b-ball team to some hoops.

If you’re wondering how well the Maputo team defended their house…the score is still being tallied.

To learn more about UNICEF Kid Power click here.

‘Empire’s’ Terrence Howard and Jamie Foxx Support Global Down Syndrome

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Terrence Howard took a timeout from dueling with Cookie Monster (the Empire version, because  the lovable blue creature  with an insatiable sweet tooth on Sesame Street has no enemies.) to play wingman to Jamie Foxx at the Global Down Syndrome Association’s annual fundraiser in Denver.

Not letting his suave fashion sense go to waste –Terrence came to play with that navy blue suit–he escorted Jamie’s sister, Deondra (who has Down Syndrome) down the catwalk at the Be Beautiful, Be Yourself fashion show. Judging by Deondra’s face she knows how fierce they look together.

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Not to be outdone, Denver Nugget Kenneth Faried (gotta love the man bun)  and his little dates werked the runway poses. I hear Ford models calling.

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Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx brought his youngest daughter in on the act. She escorted him down the aisle and brought two friends along.

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Yet, it was Terrence Howard who stole the show by bidding $5,000 on the first auction item, a glass of water. Wonder if the other items included free refills. We found some that didn’t. All money raised will go towards people with Down Syndrome

Supermodel Naomi Campbell Opens Pop-Up Shop for Ebola Relief

naomifashionforreliefNaomi is not letting that fierce runway walk go to waste, she’s using her stellar strut to raise awareness for Ebola relief.

The supermodel is putting together a number of fashion shows to raise money to treat the deadly disease that’s devastating West African countries.

And that’s not all. Naomi is also opening a charity shop at Westfield London Mall where she’s hocking her own merch (you know that gear is fleek.) and some of her model pals’ stuff too.

Naomi had this to say about her fashion meets charitable efforts:

“I’m incredibly excited to return to Westfield London to launch the pop-up store. Raising awareness of Ebola and educating on its prevention its crucial to help prevent the spread of this deadly disease. We hope the Fashion for Relief store will contribute to the much needed funds and awareness, while offering people the unique chance to bag some stunning designer outfits and accessories.”

For the lucky London towners that can take advantage of this worthy cause, take note, it’s only available from November 28th to December 4th.

Philanthropy is a nice color on this iconic beauty. As is the other celebs–Idris, Alicia Keys–lending their voice to end the stigma of Ebola being a death sentence in a PSA video below.

To donate to the Ebola Survival Fund click here

Slam Dunk or Foul? Dwayne Wade Partners with SANDALS for Youth Charity Program

Dwayne Wade in Turks & Caicos with kids from Sandal Foundation. Image Courtesy: Instagram

Dwayne Wade in Turks & Caicos with kids from Sandal Foundation. Image Courtesy: Instagram

Newlywed Miami Heat baller Dwayne Wade is taking his charity Wade’s World Foundation overseas. The NBA champion will take his philanthropic talents to the Caribbean (and, of course Miami) where he’ll enlighten at-risk teens about the benefits of a good education. And provide sports and rec centers for them to stay fit.

Not unlike what he does in the states, except this go ’round he’s teaming up with Sandals Resorts Foundation, an org that matches Wade’s World Foundation mission to create education and environmental projects for teens. In Sandals case, they cater to Caribbean communities–Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Antigua, St. Lucia, Grenada and Barbados– they have their resorts in.

The “game changer” program (yes, that’s the official name) aims to upgrade 11 multipurpose sports courts in the Caribbean and South Florida for kids to have a place to play and stay fit.

So why did the M.I.A baller decide to venture into foreign territory with his charity?

The opportunity to partner with the Sandals Foundation was a natural progression to the work we do and affords us the chance to continue to expand our reach internationally providing today’s youth with safe and fun places to learn explore and develop their potential.

Those willing to water those seeds of promise can make a donation to the game changer program here, or if you wanna give your fingertips a workout text GAME to 41444 to donate.

Honestly, I wasn’t too excited to hear that Mr. Gabrielle Union was partnering with the resort, given their homophobic past. Learning years ago that they banned same-sex couples from their resorts cast a shadow over their sandy white beaches, for me.

Yet, nothing is forever, including same sex bans, but I can’t lie and say I don’t feel some type of way about it. On one hand it’s a fitting way to synchronize two charities with one specific goal: enriching kids lives. Buuttt they’ve banned a whole group of people based on their sexual orientation for 23 years. Two decades!?. I know it’s time to let it go. The ban has been lifted. It’s a new day. Maybe so, but does it give anyone else pause over what kind of teens (is it straight AND gay or “Or”?) their willing to help?

Let me know what you guys think below.

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tinacharlesIn other sports related news, WNBA player Tina Charles slashed her salary in half to jump start her charity Hopey’s Heart Foundation, which purchases and distributes defibrillators to local schools around Michigan. The New York Liberty center launched the org in her aunt’s honor, who died of organ failure last year, and spent over $14K (she makes $100,000, according to Black Enterprise) purchasing 10 defibrillators for donation before she passed.

She’s raised $48K for the foundation so far and wrote a $50,000 check to go towards the charity’s goal of getting 100 defibrillators.

No qualms about this one. You go girl.

MODEL EFFECT: Jourdan Dunn Named Ambassador for Sickle Cell Association

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It’s sickle cell awareness month and to raise awareness for this overlooked disease–that more of us suffer from than you think–we’re highlighting a model spokesperson. No, literally!! Jourdan Dunn was tapped by Sickle Cell Disease Association of America to be their ambassador.

What does the gorg supermodel that slays fashion runways and a Beyoncé vid have in common with a debilitating illness affecting red blood cells?

To erase those thought bubbles from your head, here are a few good reasons Jourdan Dunn wasn’t just a pretty face for the Association: She tells Vogue she carries the sickle cell gene and passed it onto her four-year-old son, Riley.

jdunnandsonShe knew he would get the illness but still was heartbroken when she received the diagnosis. But swallowed her guilt and put on her brave face to deal with the reality.

Now she’s educating others through her Cell for Gratitude charity initiative. She already put her fashion skills to good use by designing a cell necklace in which proceeds go to the Association.

dunnandfriendsAnd rallied famous friends–Rihanna, Naomi Campbell, Alek Wek, Karlie Kloss and Cara Delevingne–to her “Cell for Gratitude” launch during New York Fashion Week.

I don’t want people to feel sorry for my son or me. I’m not ashamed about sickle cell anemia. I want to talk about it because there are a lot of people in the industry who have sickle cell or who have a family member that has it, but they don’t talk about it. Many others don’t know if they even carry the gene.

Unlike normal blood cells that are round, those with sickle cells are oval shaped. And when the blood cells are clogged–due to infection or body temp changes–it triggers unbearable pain.

Jourdan says her goal as Association ambassador is to brush off the shame of the illness and get people talking.

I want people who have it to speak up because sickle cell anemia isn’t something to be ashamed of. There are other people dealing with it, and we shouldn’t turn a blind eye.

For those itching to contribute to this under-the-radar cause blood donations are greatly appreciated. To see if you qualify to give, click here

To read a full version of the Vogue article click here

Family of Avonte Oquendo Attend 1st Annual HollyRod Foundation Honors

Holly Rob Peete, Vanessa Oquendo and family, L.A. and Erica Reid. Image Credit: Holly Rob Pete IG

Holly Rob Peete, Vanessa Oquendo and family, L.A. and Erica Reid.
Image Credit: Holly Rob Pete IG

Actress and autism activist Holly Robinson Peete has supported the Oquendo family once young Avonte went missing in October. And despite the unhappy ending we were all hoping wouldn’t come to be, the family returned the favor by attending the Super Kids Honors presented by HollyRod Foundation and Autism Speaks.

Image Credit: Erica Reid IG

Image Credit: Erica Reid IG

The Super Kid Honors was held at Joe’s Crab Shack in Harlem to honor Anthony Starego, an autistic football player from Brick, NJ. Not only did he win the Super Kid Award, but was also surprised with a trip to Super Bowl 48. Lucky, kid. Well, unless he was rooting for Denver Broncos hehehehe (oh, too soon?)

Image Credit: Holly Rod Peete IG

Image Credit: Holly Rod Peete IG

Super producer L.A. Reid and family also made an appearance to support Holly.

Photo Credit: Peete IG

Photo Credit: Peete IG

Kevin Liles showed his support for the first annual HollyRod Honors that will celebrate an autistic kid that has an impact on athletics.

Image Credit: Peete IG

Image Credit: Peete IG

And famed sax player Mike Phillips made the event sexy.

Cover Songbirds Chloe & Halle Support Children Surviving Cancer Non-profit

If you have yet to be introduced to this sassy duo–Beyonce shouted praise upon last month–look no further than the video below where they recreate Queen Bey’s “Pretty Hurts.”

Now you can see and (more importantly) hear why Chloe and Halle Bailey have over 2 million hits and nearly 300,000 YouTube subscribers. They can sang. And they have been singing Lorde, Beyonce, One Direction, Rihanna…these sisters have pretty much hijacked any Z-100 tune and made it their own, which has Disney crowning these sissy songbirds Radio Disney’s Next Big Thing.

What’s currently on Chloe and Halle’s radar is their support of BrittiCares International, a non-profit that helps kids diagnosed with cancer cope and survive their treatment, which is up for a $5,000 grant from NBA’s Lakers Youth Foundation BrittiCares is one of four finalists that are eligible to not only receive 5Gs, but also two tickets to a future Lakers game where they will receive a ginormous ceremonial check. 

If selected BrittiCares hopes to use the money for kids dream bedroom makeovers for when they return home.

To learn more about the other non-profit organizations in the running and how you can vote for the YOU grant recipient, please click here.