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?
My name is Alessandra Sachs, Soccer, Rivelino Soccer Club/Brazilian National Team
What inspired you to give back to your community/commit time to service?
I’m a huge tennis fan and one of the players I admired growing up was Arthur Ashe. He was a trailblazer, being the first black man to win the US open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open. I never had the opportunity to watch him play but was fortunate enough to have one interaction with him I will always remember. It was the 1988 US Open and Ashe was on a payphone. I approached him to ask for an autograph. He was super nice and was very interested in me and my tennis journey. That being said, I love his quote: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” A few years back I wanted to give back and did not know where to go or what to do. Like the quote says, I just started looking for little volunteering gigs here and there.
What cause(s) are you passionate about? Why?
The causes that I am most passionate about are adaptive sports and eliminating food insecurity. First, I believe everyone should have the opportunity to play a sport and be physically active no matter their physical limitations. It makes me feel elated when everyone is able to play together. The need to eliminate food insecurity became important to me because I see homeless everyday on the job. It definitely makes me aware that it could happen to anyone at any time. This year, especially due to the pandemic, we are looking at approximately 42 million Americans who will experience food insecurity. To think that so many people do not know when they will have their next meal really inspires me to do something to help.
What has inspired you or what has been your favorite moment when giving back to the community?
2020 was a unique year and I wanted to do something distinctive to celebrate my 46th birthday. I decided that I would run 4 hours and 6 minutes on my birthday day. 2020 also showed us that things can turn on a dime and so I decided that I wanted to help the homeless community in Phoenix. I went to Social Spin, which is run by a good friend, and asked what she saw what was needed in the community. She said that toiletries and new socks are always items that the unsheltered community are in need of.
As Mr. Rogers said, “we all have different gifts, so we all have different ways of saying to the world who we are.”
I used my resources from different communities that I’m part of and we raised over $300 which gave me the opportunity to buy numerous toiletries and hygiene items.
This moment was so memorable and I never thought in a million years I would have ran 4 hours and 6 minutes (17.5 miles).