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Jrue and Lauren Holiday pledge to donate $5.3 million to combat systemic racism as well as social and economic inequality

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There are few stories of greater generosity!

2019 Las Vegas Summer League - Day 2 Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images

Jrue Holiday announced on Wednesday’s edition of The Jump that he will donate the remainder of his 2020 salary, which could amount to a sum of $5.3 million, to social justice causes through the newly created Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Justice Impact Fund.

This extremely charitable donation originated from Lauren one night and Jrue fell in love with the idea immediately.

“When she said that, it was kind of like ‘Damn, you’re a genius,’” Holiday said to Rachel Nichols. “I’ve been so blessed to make this money and to play basketball and still have a job. But there’s people out there that need support and support from us who still have jobs and have been blessed so much.”

The prime recipients of this donation include Black and Brown communities in Los Angeles, New Orleans and Indianapolis, but this incredibly thoughtful gift will touch the lives of those in other cities and HBCUs too.

Most of the money will be dedicated to nonprofits, Black-owned businesses and citywide initiatives that seek to bring about equitable outcomes for Black and Brown communities in New Orleans (up to $1.5 million), Los Angeles and Compton, Calif. (up to $1.5 million), and Indianapolis (up to $1 million). Another $1 million will go to Black-owned businesses in more than 10 other cities across the country, while $500,000 is committed to institutions of higher learning, including historically Black colleges and universities.

On his Instagram page, Holiday divulged further information, including that some of the money will go to Black-owned small businesses who received very little help through the Paycheck Protection Program. For those interested, they should visit and apply at www.jlhfund.org.

The Holidays are no strangers to charitable givings. Several months ago, Mike Guevara, Jrue’s personal trainer and close friend, informed us on an episode of The Bird Calls podcast that the Holiday family provided meals to several local hospitals when the COVID-19 pandemic was hitting New Orleans especially hard.

A little over three years ago, Jrue Holiday was awarded the March NBA Cares Community Assist Award “in recognition of his efforts to provide New Orleans with immediate tornado relief and his commitment to promoting gender equality.”

There is little doubt in my mind that the Holidays have made other contributions in the past as well, but due to their quiet, humble personalities, the public never caught wind of their generosity. It’s no secret that they’ve always preferred to live out of the limelight, yet at the same time, it’s not hard to fathom that giving may be woven into their DNA.

Did you catch everything that Jrue said to Rachel Nichols in the attached ESPN Twitter link above?

“Coming back with everything happening, I needed an extra push.”

Jrue Holiday needed additional inspiration to come to the Orlando campus and resume the 2019-20 NBA season while leaving a pregnant wife and 3-year-old daughter for weeks in the midst of a pandemic.

Who wouldn’t?

But for most, this difficult choice would typically require massive material benefit for oneself. For Jrue, it’s entirely the opposite. He is ready and eager to dole out that money to those less fortunate. To people he doesn’t know.

Just an incredibly selfless and generous act...by the entire Holiday Family. New Orleans and all those lives that are going to be positively impacted will forever be grateful.

These are the type of stories we’re so desperate to read here in 2020.

Thank you, Jrue and Lauren. You guys are the best.

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.