dalton risner Archives - Athletes for Hope

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AFH Staff Piece

AFH Staff Piece

Getting Into the Holiday Spirit by Giving Back to Others

By Mattis Koch, Mental Health Research & Digital Media Intern

As the Giving Season approaches, athletes from various sports are coming together to make a difference in their communities through volunteering and giving back.

“It’s all about bringing holiday cheer and bringing resources and support for people that need it,” said NBA star and 2021 AFH Community Hero Award recipient Stephen Curry.

Athletes for Hope is dedicated to encouraging and aiding athletes across all levels to use their platform to create lasting change in their communities through the holiday season and beyond. 

Volunteering During the Holiday Season

In addressing the pressing issue of food insecurity, the significant surge in volunteerism during the holiday season, both nationally and within the athletic community, reflects a shared commitment to making a positive impact. According to HandsOn Connect (2021), non-profit organizations experience a remarkable 50% increase in volunteers during the holiday season compared to the yearly average. This spirit of giving extends to the world of athletics, where professional and collegiate athletes actively engage in philanthropic opportunities. Sports teams often participate in initiatives addressing food insecurity, including our AFH University student-athletes at Georgetown University, where soccer, rowing, and softball teams packed over 1,000 sandwiches that were donated in the local D.C. area.

However, despite these commendable efforts, the challenges of food insecurity persist, demanding continued attention and action. More than 44 million people in the US face hunger, including 1 in 5 children (Feeding America). Hunger occurs for people from all walks of life but doesn’t affect everyone equally. Groups like children, seniors, Black, Indigenous, and other people of color face hunger at higher rates. With regards to athletics, up to 60% of Division I collegiate athletes are food insecure (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics). 

As Minnesota Vikings player and AFH Community Hero of the Week Dalton Risner mentioned in our athlete spotlight ,“We may not be stopping world hunger but we are making a positive impact one day at a time without turning down opportunities to do more.”

Dalton Risner smiles between two other volunteers.

How can you help? Consider volunteering at your local food pantry and participating in charitable opportunities in your community. Educating and advocating also play a crucial role in addressing food security. Donating to organizations such as Stephen Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation or local nonprofits that focus on tackling the disparities of food insecurity in their communities. By coming together and taking action, we can work towards a more equitable and hunger-free future for all.

Get Involved with Athletes for Hope

Often, athletes want to make a positive difference in the world, but they don’t always know how to begin or how to turn their charitable passions into action. If you are a current or former athlete whose 2024 resolution is to give back to your community, Athletes for Hope is here to help.

Our Causeway takes the form of a road map to illustrate an athlete’s journey through the world of philanthropy. Contrary to an athlete’s competitive spirit, their philanthropic journey along the Causeway is not a race. Each athlete proceeds at their own pace as Athletes for Hope guides them every step of the way.

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Dalton Risner, Community Hero of the Week

Bronco’s Dalton Risner is This Week’s Community Hero!

Dalton Risner is an unbelievably talented football player and what’s even more impressive is that he simply doesn’t quit making the world a better place. That’s why he’s this week’s AFH Community Hero!

Dalton recognized the platform he held through football during his time at Kansas State University and hasn’t stopped using it for good since. Whether it’s his work through his foundation, The RisnerUp Foundation, working to promote youth physical activity through our AFH Fit Program, raising awareness for food insecurity as a Campaign Champion for our 2021 Feeding America National Nutrition Month campaign, or serving as a Special Olympics Champion Ambassador, Dalton gives his time to so many different, yet equally important, causes.

Some of Dalton’s recent work includes:

  • Visiting multiple military bases in Hawaii to show his support of our Armed Forces
  • Hosting an auction and donating the raised funds to support high school students and the nonprofit, A Precious Child, who were affected by the Marshall Fire
  • Visiting elementary school kids in Denver to inspire them and bring them joy
  • Bringing smiles to children’s faces who are in the hospital battling cancer

“I’m a Colorado guy. I take pride in being a part of the community and a leader. There are so many families that need help. I want to be a part of that. I can’t imagine how hard it has been on them.”

Dalton Risner, on helping with the Marshall Fire

We feel very lucky to work with Dalton and can’t wait to see what’s next!

AFH Partners with Feeding America for National Nutrition Month

Food insecurity and the lack of access to nutritious food options are issues throughout the United States that can impact individuals and families in all aspects of life. For that reason, Athletes for Hope (AFH) is partnering with Feeding America to help raise awareness about the urgency of addressing these issues in recognition of National Nutrition Month throughout March. 

Led by Campaign Champion, Dalton Risner of the Denver Broncos, AFH Member Athletes from all over the country will use their platform to raise awareness on the importance of reducing food insecurity and actions their fans and community members can take to help end hunger throughout the country. 

“Athletes for Hope is proud to support the tremendous work of Feeding America during National Nutrition Month,” says Ivan Blumberg, Athletes for Hope CEO. “Food insecurity is a major issue for millions of Americans, and unfortunately the situation continues to worsen. AFH Members from across the country are passionate about this issue, and we will empower them to positively impact their local communities.”

AFH Member Athletes will take part in the campaign in following ways:

  • Volunteering or donating pantry items for their local food bank
  • Raising awareness about food insecurity and lack of access to nutritious food options on their social media platforms 
  • Participating in a fundraiser to benefit the Feeding America food bank network

AFH is proud, but not surprised, of the high level of interest in campaign participation from Member Athletes representing various levels, sports and leagues from across the country. Make sure to follow Athletes For Hope on Twitter and Instagram as we highlight the incredible work these athletes are doing to help raise awareness for this important cause.  

To learn more about Feeding America and food insecurity, please click here.