In 2003, Dwyane and his family established the Wade's World Foundation, a nonprofit charity organization dedicated to giving back to at-risk communities of Chicago, Milwaukee, and the South Florida region through a variety of community outreach programs.
Dwyane was inspired to start the foundation because he wanted to give back to underserved communities and support issues of purpose. "I can't just let basketball define who I am and what I am supposed to become," said Wade. "Like my mother always tell me, '[My life] is bigger than basketball.'"
Since 2003, the Wade's World Foundation has stood on the shoulders of its' central purpose of promoting the education of youth and its' three focus initiatives of literacy, health and fatherhood. Understanding that his life is bigger than basketball, Dwyane is a firm believer and supporter of the foundation's motto, "Every Child Deserves a Shot." By primarily servicing underserved core communities of Chicago, Milwaukee, and the South Florida areas, the Wade's World Foundation and partnering sponsors are dedicated to providing opportunities that enable children to overcome challenges, excel academically, and reach their maximum potential.
Dwyane’s emphasis on community involvement has won the Wade’s World Foundation the NBA’s monthly Community Assist Award twice as well as the NBA Cares Seasonlong Kia Community Assist Award in 2013. The award is given to a NBA player that consistently shows passion for philanthropy and community service. In addition, as 2013 marked WWF’s 10th year anniversary campaign, the awards and accolades continued to pile up. Black Entertainment Television awarded Dwyane and the Wade’s World Foundation with their prestigious BET Humanitarian Award.
The Wade’s World Foundation’s initiatives include partnerships with Gatorade, the Miami Heat, Marquette University, Staples, Pepperidge Farms, Carnival Cruise Lines, Li-Ning and T-Mobile just to name a few. The foundation also sponsors and supports literacy initiatives, youth basketball clinics, court refurbishments and holiday giving initiatives. With a personal goal to give every child a shot at life and leave the world a better place than he found it, Dwyane and WWF will continue to support a variety of programs that inspire, uplift and motivate.
The Wade's World Foundation Accolades and Honors include:
- Kia Community Assist Award (August 2007)
- USA WEEKEND Magazine Most Caring Athlete (2007)
- Kia Community Assist Award (Offseason 2010)
- NBA Cares Seasonlong Kia Community Assist Award (2013)
- BET Humanitarian Award (2013)