About Athletes for Hope - AFH Q&A

Join us in breaking down the stigma: become a Mental Health Champion today


Learn More about AFH

Who Founded Athletes for Hope? 

Athletes for Hope (AFH) was founded by Muhammad Ali, Mia Hamm, Andre Agassi, Warrick Dunn, Alonzo Mourning, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and six other elite athletes in 2006. Learn more about them here.

Why did they start Athletes for Hope?

Our Founders recognized that athletes of all levels had a platform to give back but did not always know where or how to begin. Together, they founded AFH to educate, encourage, and empower athletes to find their passions, and use their time to positively engage with their communities. 

What does Athletes for Hope do?

AFH continues its Founders’ mission and has become a trusted cause-neutral organization for thousands of professional, Olympic, Paralympic and collegiate athletes. A firm believer in “athlete voice and choice,” AFH educates athletes through its Causeway workshop series and works with athletes, both individually and on teams, in 3 key ways:

  • Supports their journey along the AFH Causeway, focusing on the cause(s) that the athlete is passionate about
  • Offers ongoing programming for athletes to get involved in. Core AFH Programs focus on underserved youth physical activity and leadership (AFH Fit), mental health (Whole Being Athlete), and brightening the lives of children in hospitals (Hospital Heroes)
  • Partners with community leaders and organizations to connect athletes to advocacy campaigns and initiatives

For college athletes, AFH created the AFH University (AFH U) program which uses the AFH model and applies it to college teams across the country. 

What makes Athletes for Hope unique?

Working with individual athletes and sports teams alike, AFH meets athletes where they are. Some know exactly what causes they care about and AFH helps them support those causes in their communities. Others need help identifying what they are passionate about and AFH guides them in that journey and finds opportunities for them to engage. And there are some that care about a variety of causes, so they often get involved with AFH’s ongoing programming. 

AFH is a national organization that supports athletes as they move around the country, whether they join a new team, retire or simply live in multiple cities throughout the year. From in-person visits at food banks and schools, to recording videos to brighten a child’s day in the hospital, to engaging in an advocacy campaign on social media, AFH provides a multitude of options for athletes to engage in ways that work best for them in their busy schedules and ever-changing lives. 

What impact has Athletes for Hope made?

Over the past 15 years, Athletes for Hope has grown from its 12 Founders to thousands of athletes across almost every single sport. AFH has educated over 10,000 athletes and through their dedication and passion, these athletes have served hundreds of communities and impacted millions of people in need with an unquantifiable number of moments that will impact individuals for the rest of their lives.

What is Athletes for Hope’s vision for its future? 

Remaining rooted in education and continuously upholding our Founders’ original mission, AFH aims to be a trusted guide and resource for all athletes, and a global sports philanthropy leader that leverages its impact with best-in-class partners.