Since participating in the Athletes for Hope workshop in 2010, Catcher Nick Hundley has embraced the Athletes for Hope mission and work. In our first connection with Nick, we discovered his tremendous passion for helping sick children, and shortly thereafter coordinated Nick’s first visit to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, Ca. Nick had so much fun with the kids and this sparked an even greater interest in giving back to those in need. Since his first visit, Nick has taken the time to visit hospitals throughout the country, including those in Milwaukee, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Last year’s trip to Milwaukee Children’s Hospital started something special for Nick. During his visit in May of ‘14, Nick met Zach Sprader, a patient at the hospital, and they hit it off instantly. They talked baseball, and Nick promised to get Zach a signed jersey. It was a great visit, but this was just the beginning. Through the Make-A-Wish program, Zach and his family had planned a Fall trip to visit a number of ballparks on the east coast. Nick learned of Zach’s upcoming trip, and personally invited Zach and his family to Camden Yards to catch up, go out onto the field, and meet some of Nick’s teammates. Obviously, a great time was had by all.
A few weeks ago, as the ’15 baseball season was starting, Nick again personally reached out to Zach and invited him to his first series of the year in Milwaukee. A year after their first meeting, Nick and Zach had the opportunity to hang out at the ballpark. Zach and Nick are good friends, and often times text one another to keep in touch!
Today at the Partnership for a Healthier America’s Building a Healthier Future Summit, Let’s Move! Active Schools announced that Athletes for Hope will join its national collaborative aimed at ensuring 60 minutes of physical activity is the new norm in schools across the country.
In its role as a Let’s Move! Active Schools Partner, Athletes for Hope will administer an athlete visit program, connecting schools with sports leaders who can speak with students about the importance of physical activity.
Studies show that active kids do better: Physical activity not only helps kids stay healthy and strong, but it can also lead to higher test scores, improved attendance, better behavior in class and lower rates of childhood obesity.
Since Let’s Move! Active Schools’ March 2013 launch, more than 14,300 schools have registered, and more than 8 million students have been impacted by the initiative. Let’s Move! Active Schools strives to reach 50,000 schools and 25 million students by 2018.
If you are an athlete or a league and are interested in visiting an Active School, please email us today!
We are excited to report that we got an incredible turnout for our week of service with so many of you visiting charities throughout the country! If you want to help spread awareness of the great work our athletes are doing and have done this year you. Do so by taking a moment to share the inspiration through one of the outlets below:
Donate your Facebook or Twitter status to AFH
Ask your followers and fans to learn more about what we do at AFH.
Post to Twitter:
I’m donating this tweet to @Ath4Hope. Follow them today and learn athletes like me are giving back all over the country. #AFHGiveBack
Post to Facebook:
I’m donating my status to Athletes for Hope. Follow them today and learn athletes like me are giving back all over the country. www.facebook.com/AthletesForHope #AFHGiveBack
Follow along on our website, on Facebook and Twitter as we highlight some of the big give backs of 2014. We encourage you to share these moments with your friends, family and fans and spread the word about how Athletes for Hope is connecting athletes to causes all over the US.
Every year on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, AFH Athletes show their support for local organizations by volunteering; however, many of our members are unable to give back during that time due to scheduling conflicts. This year, along with the regular in-person visit, we added another way to show support – the #unselfie.
The #unselfie is like the popular “selfie” but with a purpose – these aren’t just self-taken photos, they are photos that amplify the good work of the many organizations our athletes support. We had a lot of fun reading and retweeting these messages of hope. Thank you to all the hundreds athletes and fans that participated in the #unselfie campaign this year.
Key influencers: (Charlie Kimball, Mia Hamm, Yael Averbusch, Nat Bowmans, Doug Brown, Britney Henry, Samantha Johnson, Summer Sanders, DC Scores, Ashley Weinhold, Mark Hollis, Alison Bartosik, Heather O’Reilly, Carli Lloyd, Ann Gaffigan, Kristine Lilly, Wayne McCollough, World Boxing Council, Sharon Day-Monroe, Shawna Levins, Amanda Hahn, Chastity Melvin, Ethan Zohn
Hats off to the following members that drove an hour and a half to spend the day with kids that have a parent affected by cancer: Kristin Hildebrand, Jordan Larson-Burbach, Chloe Ferrari, and Foluke Akinradewo.
We followed up with Kristin Hildebrand about her day at camp and here’s what she said about her experience:
Why is giving back important to you?
Giving back is an opportunity to connect with and learn from those in my community, and a really special experience every time I do it. I’m very thankful for all the opportunities AFH has given me!
What did you do on your recent trip to Camp Kesem UCLA?
When we arrived at Camp Kesem we got a quick tour and introduction to the camp and then we spent the rest of the time with the kids doing different activities. There was an archery station, a dance drama station where we got to help the kids choreograph a dance, and then around snack time we got to sit down and talk with a lot of them before finishing up with some sand volleyball!
What was your favorite part?
My favorite part was when we were with the youngest kids who were ages 5 & 6 at the dance drama station. They were learning a choreographed dance to the Harlem Shake, and they were all so cute and expressive and fun to watch. I also really loved just chatting with the kids at snack time. I lost my own mother to cancer so it was really special to be able to connect with some of them and talk through the difficulties that we have to go through.
What would you say to another athlete interested in giving back this summer?
If you have the opportunity, take it. It will fill up your heart with happiness.
Camp Kesem is an amazing camp made possible by grants from the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the college camp counselors that fundraise for remaining expenses. All the children that participate have either lost a parent to cancer or have a parent in the fight right now. There are 58 Camp Kesem Camps nationwide taking place this summer. Interested in visiting with the kids at a camp near you? Email us for more information.