Jordan’s off and on course experiences have shaped his personal charitable outlook. The Jordan Spieth Family Foundation offers a platform for Jordan to lend time, help grow awareness and offer financial support for four philanthropic areas: special needs youth, junior golf, military support and pediatric cancer.
Jordan’s strong competitive edge has always been tempered with a soft heart. Growing up in Dallas, Jordan began playing at a high level at an early age. However when his younger sister Ellie was born with a neurological disorder, the family focus quickly shifted from his talents to her needs. Jordan’s family life is the reason he has remained grounded on the world’s biggest stage, and he attributes his charitable perspective to her role in his life. “I love spending time with her. It's humbling to see the struggles she goes through each day that we take for granted. Because of Ellie, it has always been a priority to me to be in tune to the needs of others.” Jordan always believed he could make a significant impact, starting in his high school days. With a school mantra of “a man for others”, he spent afternoons volunteering at Ellie’s school and seeing first hand the great value of volunteerism.
At the age of 19, with no status and before making Tour history, Jordan quickly recognized the opportunity that the stage provided and he dreamed of building a philanthropic legacy as large as an athletic one. In 2013, Jordan achieved his dream of winning a PGA Tour event, followed by an invitation to the US Presidents Cup team and being named Rookie of the Year. His most notable accomplishment, however, was establishing the official Jordan Spieth Charitable Platform. As he had always hoped, success on the course immediately yielded the opportunity to serve others. Junior golf had propelled his career and afforded him the chance, so a focus on growing the game with youth was key. The Tour’s support of military veterans was inspiring, and thus a second charitable focus was chosen. His interest in pediatric cancer was inspired by the cancer battles of some of his childhood friends. But Jordan's story always comes back to Ellie, his devoted sister and fan who means the world him and shaped this charitable vision. Jordan concentrated his final focus on funding and assisting opportunities for special people like Ellie all over the country.
These significant areas, special needs youth, junior golf, military support and pediatric cancer became the pillars on which he is building his most important legacy, with hopes to one day be the most charitable athlete foundation. The inaugural Spieth Shootout event in fall 2014 celebrated the success of Jordan finally realizing his dreams, not solely achieving trophies but of giving back in the biggest ways possible. Thus, his vision officially became the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation.
Special Needs Youth
Jordan’s sister Ellie has special needs and is his constant source of support and grounding. Jordan knows first hand the importance of providing education opportunities for these amazing kids. “There are great pressures, financial and emotional, in homes with special needs children. I’m fortunate that, with my family, those needs brought us closer together." The platform to find better educational opportunities and experiences for incredible young people like Ellie remains the primary focus of the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation. Programs with a focus on unification are our target gift recipients.
Junior Golf was an integral part of Jordan’s successful transition onto the Tour. Jordan understands the primary mission of many junior golf programs is to set juniors on a path for obtaining college scholarships, equipping young people with understanding of the game and the behaviors and life skills to set them apart. Junior golf organizations that promote the growth of the game and the individual are prime Foundation partners.
The PGA Tour does a phenomenal job of highlighting the military families who serve our country so well and sacrifice so much. With the opportunity to shake hands with the greatest of those at each week on the PGA Tour, Jordan realizes the importance of providing support once veterans return home. The Foundation will look for opportunities to support servicemen and women through familial support and training opportunities.
Growing up, Jordan lost a friend to childhood cancer. Not long after, his oldest friend Eric had a tough fight with the disease at the age of 12. After a few years of watching the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation make a big impact in the original three areas, Jordan prosed the addition of this very special pillar. “My best friend had another scare with cancer recently. It hit all too close to home. We will work alongside the amazing children’s hospitals and youth cancer care programs to help these families fight this battle.” The platform to support the medical and emotional care of these young patients in their family will focus both in the Dallas area and the national pediatric cancer landscape. Programs with a focus on immediate patient comfort and morale are the target gift recipients.