The Athletes for Hope University Project

Athletes for Hope pic A prominent nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching athletes about the importance of community service and charitable giving, Athletes for Hope oversees a broad range of educational and outreach initiatives. Through its University Project (AFH-U), Athletes for Hope extends educational services to student athletes at universities throughout the United States.

Founded in 2013, AFH-U offers a diverse array of life skills and Causeway workshops for university athletic teams. Workshop participants discuss the importance of community service and learn more about the causes that matter most to them. In particular, AFH-U stresses the potential positive impact of athletes on their communities and encourages them to become university ambassadors to community members.

San Diego Padres Catcher Nick Hundley Finds Time for Sick Children

Nick Hundley, a San Diego Padres catcher, participated in a Causeway workshop with Athletes for Hope in 2010. During the workshop, he identified a passion for working with sick children and has since dedicated a significant amount of time to brightening the days of kids facing various serious illnesses.

Through Athletes for Hope, Hundley first visited Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. There, he spoke with a number of children who were very excited to meet a celebrity. Inspired by this experience, he has since traveled around the country to visit children’s hospitals. He has spent time in Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Milwaukee, and other cities, meeting with children at various hospitals. He has also continued to make frequent visits to Rady.

While on the road with the Padres, Hundley strives to find free time to visit local hospitals and bring a bit of happiness into children’s lives. He understands that hospitals can be scary places for young patients, and that an unexpected visit can do a lot to alleviate a child’s fear and apprehension.

The Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society Program

An educational and policy studies organization located in Washington, D.C., the Aspen Institute aims to analyze critical issues and build effective leadership. Through its Sports & Society program, the Aspen Institute works hard to unearth the positive impact of sports on important issues. In particular, the Sports & Society program looks at ways sports can contribute to the development of healthy children and communities.

The Sports & Society program brings together experts and leaders from a wide range of sports fields and facilitates conversations on a variety of topics. In 2012, the Sports & Society program hosted a symposium titled Title IX and Beyond: How Do We Get the Rest of Our Girls into the Game? The program has also hosted discussions on topics such as the concussion crisis in professional football, the ethics of extreme competition, and amateurism issues in collegiate sports. Speakers at Society & Sports panels include figure skater Michelle Kwan, speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, and U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun.

Athletes for Hope’s Workshop Progression

Athletes for Hope understands the importance of educating athletes about philanthropy and the wide variety of ways in which they can give back to the community with their time. To ensure that professional and Olympic athletes have access to this information, Athletes for Hope has developed a three-part workshop program that explores the role of the athlete in the community and teaches participants how to identify their unique philanthropic passions. More than 1,000 athletes in 20 different sports have participated in these events.

The first workshop, Empowerment, uses debates and exercises to examine the social responsibilities of an athlete. During the workshop, participants talk and learn about how their level of fame influences their charity and the value of their time.

In the second workshop, Options for Impact, athletes are challenged to think critically about the causes that matter the most to them and the ways in which they can become involved with those causes. One of the central themes of this course is passion.

Vehicles for Giving, the third workshop, focuses on the issues that must be addressed before starting a foundation or engaging in other philanthropic pursuits. Participants debate the pros and cons of various means of philanthropy.

The Athletes for Hope Causeway Road Map

Over the years, Athletes for Hope has worked hard to educate athletes about the importance of giving back to their communities. Through its Causeway map and workshop curriculum, Athletes for Hope guides athletes along their philanthropic journeys and allows them to proceed at their own pace.

The Causeway helps athletes make a difference by providing a menu of options for involvement in the community. After learning about athletes’ unique personal values and perspectives, Athletes for Hope encourages them to address their own barriers to success. Participants Athletes for Hope Causeway workshops also explore various charitable options and the issues that matter most to them.

After connecting with a number of charitable organizations in their areas of interest, athletes have the opportunity to develop deep relationships with organizations and their beneficiaries. As part of the Causeway program, athletes also learn about the pros and cons of starting a foundation and other giving vehicles.

Empowerment Workshops at Athletes for Hope

A prominent nonprofit organization with operations across the United States, Athletes for Hope strives to help athletes have a positive impact on their communities. Athletes for Hope uses its Causeway program to develop a curriculum for athletes at a wide range of competitive levels, including professional sports leagues and the Olympics. Athletes for Hope offers a series of three workshops, designed to teach athletes of all ages about the importance of community service and charitable giving.

Athletes typically begin their education at Athletes for Hope with the 1.0 Empowerment workshop, which gives participants an introductory look at the Athletes for Hope curriculum. Athletes participate in a diverse array of debates and exercises, which enable them to explore their roles in the community and their community service goals. The Empowerment workshop covers topics such as the impact of fame on charitable outreach programs and the value of time vs. money. After completing the introductory workshop, athletes have the opportunity to participate in the Options for Impact and Vehicles for Giving workshops.

Athletes for Hope Encourages Sports Figures to Help Others in Need

A nonprofit organization, Athletes for Hope encourages athletes to give back to their communities through volunteerism. In the first quarter of 2014, numerous AFH member athletes assisted those in need. Olympic track and field competitor Kori Carter attended Athletes for Hope’s workshop with USA Track and Field in December 2013 and started the year by assisting two philanthropic organizations. Based in Palo Alto, California, Kori joined The Riekes Center for Human Enhancement and Girls to Women. The former group enables Kori to advise a high school track team and mentor Paralympic athletes. Kori Carter will provide Girls to Women with guidance in coordinating a 5K run.

In addition, San Diego Padres catcher Nick Hundley contributed his time to Athletes for Hope this year. Actively involved with Athletes for Hope since 2010, the San Diego Padres catcher volunteered with the Habitat for Humanity chapter in his hometown of Las Vegas. During the baseball off-season, Hundley participated in Habitat for Humanity projects. He plans to return to volunteer after the current season ends. His previous activities with Athletes for Hope included visiting hospitalized children in five major cities across the country.