WASHINGTON — The tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant has left those inside and out of the basketball community reeling. A superstar on and off the court, Bryant also was known for his philanthropy efforts and community work, including the foundation of his own charity with his wife.
The Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation was founded in 2006, originally called the VIVO Foundation. The charity was created in an effort to financially support young people in "life-changing experiences designed to broaden their global perspectives," according to the Foundation's mission statement. Change lives it did- since it's creation, the charity initiative also provided countless scholarships for minority college students and youth worldwide, as well as worked with the Make a Wish Foundation.
The extent of Kobe's giving goes beyond the organization. The KVBFF also operates various summer athletic programs and basketball camps, as well as a youth soccer club in Orange County. Bryant also coached and mentored various youth athletic clubs, including coaching his daughter's team and mentoring those at the Kobe Bryant Basketball Foundation.
The couple was also a major donor to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in downtown D.C., giving at least $1M in financial support. The couple was listed as "Founding Donors" on the museum's website -- founding donors are "donors who make a commitment of $1 million or more to the National Museum of African American History and Culture prior to its opening in 2016."
Fans looking to support Bryant and his family can also fill out the donation form here. You can also donate by mailing a check physically to the Foundation:
Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation
PO Box 12019
Newport Beach, CA 92658
On January 29, Kobe's wife Vanessa made her first statement to the public following the tragedy, asking for donations to the new MambaOnThree foundation set up to help the other victims of the crash.
"To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org."