It goes without saying that the landscape of the world dramatically shifted in 2020, bringing many changes to our lives. Yet, the need for service and connection to others remained stronger than ever. As a leader in the sports philanthropy space with over 7,000 athlete members and hundreds of charitable partners, Athletes for Hope activated our powerful network to strengthen, support and inspire communities around the globe during this challenging and unprecedented time.
A huge thank you to all of our friends, partners, and AFH’s network of professional, Olympic and college athletes – the incredible 2020 highlights below would not be possible without you.
This year we shifted our focus of AFH FIT to offer virtual visits and other digital resources to help promote the physical and mental health of our nation’s youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 200 professional, Olympic and collegiate athletes filmed videos demonstrating their favorite physical fitness activities to do at home without equipment with the purpose of inspiring underserved children and families to stay active. Those videos have now been viewed more than 500,000 times!
We also adapted our AFH FIT school visits to virtually deliver our C.H.A.M.P.S. (Courage, Honesty, Accountability, Mindfulness, Perseverance, and Sportsmanship) Leadership program to underserved students around the United States. We are on pace to facilitate 120 virtual visits this year, reaching almost 300,000 children.
This year we adapted the AFH U workshops, hosting 12 virtual workshops with more than 332 student-athletes and worked with 30 different organizations with 63 community connections. We also added our tenth AFH U college campus, Howard University, providing a diverse network of equality, social justice, inclusion, education, health and nutrition opportunities for Howard Bison student-athletes.
In September of this year, we launched the AFH U Sports Philanthropy Certificate Program with the goal to provide student-athletes increased education about sports philanthropy through a series of workshops, online courses and service connections. The program, which runs through May 2021, has held four of nine classes, engaging professional, Olympic, Paralympic athletes with sports philanthropy insiders to educate and empower student-athletes.
AFH EQUALITY PROGRAM
Athletes for Hope is dedicated to promoting equality and inclusivity throughout our programming and recently launched an expanded Equality Program aimed at leveraging the power of sports to advance issues of equality. Through partnerships, global exchanges, service projects, advocacy, activism and virtual opportunities, AFH empowered athletes to engage in initiatives and dialogue around social justice, race relations and gender equality.
We teamed up with ESPN and I am a voter. to encourage athletes and their networks to vote and ensure their voices were heard in 2020 local, state and federal elections. The campaign garnered a remarkable 9 million impressions on social media!
Earlier this year, in conjunction with the US Department of State, Sports Diplomacy Division and World Learning, AFH hosted a team of Tanzanian basketball players as part of a two-week exchange program focused on empowering girls and young women through basketball and sport.
Additionally, AFH engaged its staff, board, and athlete membership in a series of virtual racial equality workshops to explore topics such as social identities, cycles of socialization, and individual and societal biases. We will continue to offer these workshops in 2021 and beyond, with the goal of expanding upon our collective dialogue, mutual understanding, knowledge, and community engagement in this critical area.
AFH GOES VIRTUAL TO CELEBRATE 14 YEARS AT 2020 UNGALA CELEBRATION
On December 3, AFH hosted our virtual UnGala Celebration featuring Community Hero Award honoree Stephen Curry. Although it was a short 20 minutes, nearly 400 of you joined the celebration which was packed with an impressive silent auction, messages from some of our Founding Members like Mia Hamm and Alonzo Mourning, remarks from NBA’s Kathy Behrens and an in-depth interview with Stephen Curry!
Click here to watch!