Athletes for Hope would not exist without the drive, passion and dedication by athletes all over the world to make the world a better place. In our Member Athlete Spotlight series, it is our hope that the public will get to know our athletes, learn about the philanthropy and advocacy work they’re doing and understand what motivates them to use their platform for good.
What is your name, sport, team?
Carin Gabarra, Women’s Soccer, US Women‘s National Team (former) 1986-1996 and current Navy Soccer Head Coach
What inspired you to give back to your community/commit time to service?
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to play the game I love all over the world. Sports should be available to anyone who has the passion to play. I believe that we all need to give back in ways that support opportunities for all to play.
What cause(s) are you passionate about? Why?
I am passionate about giving children from all walks of life, especially underserved communities, the opportunity to follow their passion. Sports have no color, gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic basis. They provide an even playing field for all, and they promote physical and mental health to all who participate.
What are some of the things/activities you’ve done in your community in terms of service (AFH related or not)?
I have been an advocate to “adopt” a child with a life threatening illness to become a member of our team. I have set up 3 Honor Flights at Washington Reagan Airport and BWI to meet and honor Veterans from major wars with our collegiate team. I have been a part of the Travis Manion Run, also volunteering with my team. I have visited the Boys & Girls Club of Annapolis multiple times, to spend time with the kids after school program. Our players are currently involved in AFH Fit in a few different schools.
What has inspired you or what has been your favorite moment when giving back to your community?
I am inspired by the joy and freedom on young people’s faces when you invest in them and find time to connect with them. And when these young athletes find a passion, there is no greater joy.
How has being a former athlete and coach helped you give back to your community?
Being an athlete gives you a different platform, with larger communities you can reach out to assist in community service. Being an athlete has given me confidence, appreciation, and enthusiasm, along with the ability to build relationships with others.
What was the first moment that you realized the importance of using your platform to give back?
Being an alumni of the US Women’s National Soccer Team gave me teammates and a program that has always chosen to fight for the less fortunate and to give back to communities in need. Being an athlete at a high level gives you responsibility to give opportunities to others.
What does the future of your charitable involvement look like? What are your long-term goals?
I love being a member of Athletes for Hope, and hope to give more time to my community moving forward.