Tina Charles of the New York Liberty is not only a star player for her team, she is a star in the world of philanthropy as well.
Charles announced that she’s donating half her WNBA salary to charity even though that brings her down to $50,00 a year in take-home pay.
After losing her aunt in 2013, Charles helped found a charity called Hopey’s Heart, an organization that aims to distribute automated external defibrillators to needy patients. With her foundation she has bought 142 of the machines already. She donates half her own salary to purchase more.
This year Hopey’s Heart Foundation also expands its reach to Europe with 165 new devices heading to needy patients overseas.
“It means a lot just to keep the awareness out there about sudden cardiac arrest,” Charles said this week. “Taking an interest in others is key in my life. It’s my way of giving back. My passion of placing AEDs. Anything I can do to impact an institution with an AED is extremely important to me.”
The WNBA star was also instrumental in having every EuroLeague women’s basketball arena equipped with the defibrillators.
Charles’ former coach, Mike Thibault of Connecticut, effusively praised the payer’s charity work. “It’s a wonderful thing and she sets a great example for other players in the league and allows our fans to see our players in our league can make a difference outside of basketball,” he gushed. “I’m proud of her for it.”
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