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Athletes Spread the #Unselfie Spirit

Athletes Spread the #Unselfie Spirit

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

USA Volleyball and Camp Kesem

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.

Casey Zeller visits University of Georgia’s Camp Kesem

Camp Kesem is a LIVESTRONG Foundation funded camp for the children of cancer patients. You may have seen Casey’s enthusiastic tweets about her trip to University of Georgia’s Camp Kesem this past week. We followed up with Casey about her experience.

Q: Why is giving back important to you?

I love to connect, encourage, and support people especially those who are struggling so they know they are not alone. I feel that everyone should be grateful for what they have and not take having a “normal” life for granted. I know I am blessed in so many ways, therefore it is important to me to help others when I can.

Q: What did you do on your recent trip to Camp Kesem UGA?

I chose to speak to the camp about my struggles as an athlete and my determination to make my one Olympic dream come true, only to find that I was meant to fulfill a different dream. I encouraged them to not become discouraged when they don’t receive what they want most, yet to be open minded enough to realize that it’s because there is something better waiting for them. We then played crab soccer with the camp and took pictures afterwards.

Q: What would you say to another athlete interested in giving back this summer?

Sometimes it’s hard to find time in your busy training and competition schedule to share your experience with others. But once you do, it is more fulfilling than you can imagine and it also drives you more toward your goal. So take a little bit out of your day to do a selfless act and share your story with those who need it the most.

Curious about Camp Kesem’s mission to help the children of cancer patients? Interested in heading back to camp for a few hours this summer? Contact AFH today for more information.

Indy Driver Pippa Mann Races for a Cure

British racing driver and AFH athlete Pippa Mann partnered with Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, for this year’s Indianapolis 500 in a groundbreaking campaign.  Pippa showed support during the month of May for Susan G Komen by wearing a  pink helmet and firesuit while her car had the Susan G Komen name and logo on the side pods in lieu of a traditional title sponsor.

Speaking about the partnership, Mann said: “This entire project started with the idea of simply taking my red crash helmet, and turning it pink to support the cause, and it has grown into something fairly amazing in a very short space of time.  My Indianapolis 500 this year is no longer about me.  This pink car will be out on track representing Komen, representing the survivors, and remembering those who sadly did not win their hard fought battles against breast cancer.  To have been a part of creating this opportunity for Susan G. Komen at the Indianapolis 500, and to now be a part of actually making this happen, is something I am incredibly proud of.”

Using the national platform of the world-famous race, she helped raise funding and awareness for the breast cancer organization.  We congratulate Pippa on her 24th place finish at the Indianapolis 500 and we applaud her for partnering with a nonprofit in this unique manner.  For more information about how you can help Pippa’s efforts for Susan G. Komen, visit

The Aspen Institute’s Project Play Roundtable

Held on the cusp of the Partnership for Healthier America Summit, and underwritten by Nike through its Designed to Move initiative, the roundtable:

  • Explored opportunities and strategies for organizations funding sport and physical activities
  • Identified new opportunities to grow resources
  • Considered the role of government and private industry in allocation of existing resources

“Athletes for Hope is excited to be part of a select group that is committed to exploring ways we can improve the health of children through physical fitness,” Blumberg said. “Children and physical fitness are the two biggest charitable passions of over 2,000 professional and Olympic AFH athletes, and we are looking forward to mobilizing our network to make a positive impact in the lives of America’s youth.”

Congratulations on this fantastic opportunity and we can’t wait to see the impact that comes out of the institute this year.

Women’s National History Month: Julie Foudy

In honor of Women’s History Month, Athletes for Hope would like to highlight an AFH member who’s been making history on the pitch and in her community: Julie Foudy. For the past seven years Julie has been a passionate AFH member and AFH Board Member as she brings her trademark commitment and intensity to growing Athletes for Hope as an organization.  During her illustrious soccer career, Julie was a key part of the US Women’s Soccer dynasty playing in four Women’s World Cups, and three Summer Olympic Games from 1991 to 2004. In 2007, Julie was inducted to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Julie has used her athletic platform to compile an equally impressive resume of activism and charitable involvement.  Ranging from activism for children’s rights to her extensive work for gender equality in sports, Julie has epitomized the mission of Athletes for Hope through her actions. Most recently, Julie again used sport to make the world a better place. Julie partnered with AFH member Ann Gaffigan in running the Los Angeles Marathon to raise funds for Magic Bus, an organization that uses sport to break the cycle of poverty in underserved communities across India. Click here to learn more about Magic Bus: