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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Athletes for Hope encourages professional and Olympic athletes to engage in humanitarianism. The organization also aims to ensure that they direct their efforts toward the most appropriate groups in need. In order to enlighten athletes about how to give back to their communities, Athletes for Hope facilitates educational workshops. During these sessions, athletes discuss their personal interests, their value to their communities, and their best options for giving back. Since the program began, more than 1,000 athletes at all stages of their careers and from a wide range of sports have participated in these workshops.
Athletes for Hope divides this educational journey into three different workshops. The first workshop, “Empowerment,” serves as an introduction and allows athletes to discuss the role of fame, money, and time in giving back to the community. The second workshop, “Options for Impact,” focuses specifically on individuals and their passion for particular causes. Athletes for Hope also offers a third workshop,“Vehicles for Giving,” which teaches athletes about the the pros and cons of forming a foundation and discusses alternative routes for philanthropy.
Athletes for Hope brings athletes together in support of important programs and initiatives in their communities and around the world. Through Athletes for Hope, athletes can engage in a variety of important social action initiatives, from awareness campaigns to fundraisers.
Recently, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk kicked off the Who Gives Campaign on behalf of Athletes for Hope. This campaign involved three phases and inspired more than two months of conversation, debate, and giving on the part of athletes and others. Phase 1 involved an online debate about the obligation of athletes to give back. Phase 2 consisted of an online challenge featuring athletes competing against one another to raise money for their charities, which culminated in raising more than $250,000 for over 50 organizations. Phase 3, centered around the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., saw dozens of athletes around the country donating their time to charities.
The Who Gives Campaign is only one of several initiatives facilitated by Athletes for Hope throughout the year. Others include a September 11th campaign and Hope for the Holidays initiative.