PORTLAND, Ore. – Dwyane Wade may not be able to join students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and other schools for their “March For Our Lives” walk next week in Washington D.C., but the Heat guard is making sure others will have that chance.
Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, have donated $200,000 to help students from his home town of Chicago join the gun control rally schedule for March 24.
“We want to get a lot of people involved from the NBA and hopefully beyond that so I definitely wanted to get the ball rolling,” Wade said. “They’re doing marches in each state, especially NBA cities. We’re trying to get individuals involved in those cities to be able to help kids go to those marches as well if they can’t go to D.C.
“For us to be able to send kids to D.C., also to support kids in Chicago throughout this process is something that made me and my wife want to do it.”
Wade, who has been diligent in his support for the students and school where 14 students and three adults were killed by a gunman on Feb. 14, sent a message Saturday via social media asking his “NBA fam” to join in donating to help send students to Washington. “every dollar counts! Who else is in??” he wrote.
Oklahoma City’s Carmelo Anthony posted that he and Wade are “on the same page… Standing with the students of MSD – both of us come from hometowns where the violence NEEDS to stop. March 24th in DC…”
Anthony later he announced he is donating to helping the students of Baltimore and the NBA Foundation will match up to $25,000 for all NBA player donations.
Wade continued his support this weekend when he helped turn an empty warehouse in the Wynwood district of Miami into a tribute to honor the victims of the shooting. Adam Alhanti, a junior at Stoneman Douglas, praised the gesture. The warehouse was supposed to be set up for just a weekend but the response was so great it will remain open this week.
Wade stopped by the warehouse Saturday after the Heat’s victory over Washington.
“It touched me being there and being able to talk to the families, being able to talk to the kids that were at the school at the time, being able to see people who are in the community coming in to pay their respects and celebrate their lives, that’s what we’re trying to do, we’re trying to celebrate the lives that were taken, not let people forget.
“I thought it was something cool we were able to put together and it was something meaningful we were able to put together. It became something that we gave people an opportunity to come pay their respects, we gave them an opportunity to come learn more information, we gave them an opportunity to have a voice. We had a call to action there where you go in a phone booth and call your representative. It was something my team put together I’m glad we were able to do before we got out on the road and it’s still going while I’m out there.”
Wade has visited Stoneman Douglas High and spent time with the parents of Joaquin Oliver after the parents of the 17-year-old who was killed during the attack revealed their son was buried wearing a Wade Heat jersey.
“They are well-prepared and well-aware of what they need to do and what they want to do and the change they want to see,” Wade said about his trip to school last week on the first full day of classes since the massacre.
“It’s great. It’s great to hear. It’s great to see that, because I come from a community in Chicago where our youth are getting killed daily and don’t have the same voice, don’t have the same light on them that Parkland has. These kids understand what they have and they’re taking other kids with them.
“I’m excited about getting behind and supporting them.”
Wade’s mother, Jolinda, and his sister, Tragil, met and spoke with Joaquin’s parents, Manuel and Patricia, at their Coral Springs home. Patricia, Manuel and their daughter, Andrea, were guests of Wade’s at the Heat’s game against Detroit on March 3.
Wade presented the family with a Heat Vice jersey and custom made sneakers following the game.