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Back to School and Giving Back for AFH U Teams

Back to School and Giving Back for AFH U Teams

We are excited to kick off another great school year with our AFH U teams all across various universities. Teams from University of Virginia, University of Southern California, Michigan State University, Southern University, Tulane and Louisiana State University are back in school and ready to have another year of incredible impact in their local communities.

During the 2016-2017 school year, we made significant progress in streamlining AFH U. This progress is due to a significant investment of time and resources in measurement and evaluation, leveraging technology more efficiently, expanding our curriculum, working closely with on-the-ground program managers, and most recently, hiring an AFH U National Director to lead this program. We believe that we will continue to build momentum in the 2017-2018 school year as we expand and deepen our program impact at existing universities while we strategically grow AFH U in new communities.

Last year, we had 1,028 athletes involved in community events from 29 various sports teams. They volunteered a remarkable 2,283 volunteer hours in communities, which was a 2000% increase from our 2015-2016 year!

With over 29 different community partners in multiple states, we are proud to see the difference that our teams are having with such a variety of programs in local communities.

We are focused on impact and continuous improvement, and hear from athletes that their time with AFH U has an impact on them as well as the kids and communities that they serve.

From last year, student athletes reported:

• 88% increased their knowledge about community involvement.
• 92% reported being more likely to give back after their AFH U experience.
• 92% felt inspired after giving back to their community.
• 94% enjoyed volunteering this year.
• 95% felt a connection to the kids they volunteered with this year.
• 95% felt their experience was meaningful.
• 93% felt empowered to do more after volunteering with AFH U.
• 94% felt they had an impact on the children they volunteered with this year.

What we hear from student athletes and students has an impact on our work and helps us determine how best to proceed with the program.

“I thought that the program was terrific and I look forward to doing more activities through Athletes for Hope in the future.” –AFH U student athlete

“By having a student athlete volunteer with us, I learned to do different exercises and stretches to be healthy and physically active that will help in different sports.”-Student in program with AFH U athlete

Now, more than ever, we know the importance of getting student athletes involved in our communities. After the recent Hurricanes in Texas and now Florida, we’ve seen our professional athletes such as Houston Texans player JJ Watts and the Houston Dash give back time, talent and energy to elevate awareness and raise critical dollars for their communities. As we saw last year when horrific floods hit Baton Rouge and our LSU and Southern teams stepped up and lent a hand to support their communities, we are proud to say that our AFH U teams are poised and ready to help where needed. We hope all of our student athletes have a remarkable year ahead and we can’t wait to see all that you do!

Athletes Making an Impact All Season Long

AFH has been working tirelessly this year to inform, educate and connect athletes to philanthropic opportunities in communities across the U.S.  We have been monitoring and evaluating our overall impact for athletes, communities, and schools, and below are some of the exciting highlights from the past nine months:

  • The AFH University (AFH-U) program has facilitated workshops for 20 varsity sports teams at University of Virginia LSU, Southern University, and Tulane University. In total, 598 college athletes have participated in AFH U workshops and have given back over 100 hours of volunteer time in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana this year alone.
  • AFH was honored to be chosen as the Let’s Move! Active Schools Partner of the Year in May. AFH board chair, Mark Levinstein, accepted the award at the Partnership for a Healthier America’s Building a Healthier Future Summit with First Lady Michelle Obama and other distinguished guests. AFH engaged athletes in LMAS initiatives throughout the year and connected AFH athletes to activities related to health, physical fitness, and positive youth development.
  • There have been 184 athlete visits to local charities and schools across the US. such as Portland Timbers Star Nat Borchers visiting St. Clare School in Portland, OR. These amazing athletes volunteer their time and energy to support communities by engaging with students, families and partners and encourage and inspire youth and communities to do more.
  • AFH has connected over 100 AFH athletes to the 1,000 Days #FairStart Campaign to advocate for improved maternal and childhood nutrition. This public health campaign is targeting Olympic athletes gearing up for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics to raise awareness of the global issue of malnutrition.
  • Since September, AFH has facilitated 31 Empowerment Workshops for Professional, Olympic and college athletes, educating over 846 athletes about philanthropic giving.  Of those athletes surveyed after AFH workshops, 92% stated they were “more likely to participate in charitable giving in their community” and 91% were inspired by their participation.

AFH continues to strive for excellence by evaluating our work and seeking feedback from key stakeholders.  Thank you to all of the athletes for giving back to the charities and causes you care so much about.


Athletes for Hope Impact: 2015

As Athletes for Hope concludes its 9th year of existence, we are humbled by the many amazing people and organizations who have joined us in our journey. AFH has now grown from its original 12 Founding Athletes to a powerful network of over 2,000 athletes from across 20 different sports.

This year AFH facilitated 31 Causeway workshops, which was more than any other year on record. We conducted our workshops for more than 600 professional, Olympic, and college athletes such as the Washington Wizards (NBA), the Washington Mystics (WNBA), the U.S. Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team, the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, and many others.

In 2015, AFH expanded many of its programs and deepened our footprint. Here are a few notable examples:

  • AFH facilitated Causeway workshops for 20 varsity sports teams from the University of Virginia, Louisiana State University, Tulane University, and Southern University.
  • AFH partnered with pro basketball player Awvee Storey and KIPP Schools to create Power Up with the Pros DC (#PowerUpDC), an after school physical fitness initiative featuring monthly visits from Washington D.C-area professional athletes.
  • AFH member athletes led 70 Let’s Move! Active Schools visits focused upon improving physical fitness in 42 different communities throughout the U.S.

AFH member athletes broadened their impact on the global stage as they became advocates for impactful Gates-grantee organizations such as 1,000 Days, Nothing But Nets, Every Mother Counts, and the Universal Access Project.

Contributions from our partners such as Nike, the Gates Foundation, the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation have enabled us to change the lives of tens of thousands of people across many charities and causes. We owe much of 2015’s success to our passionate and dedicated group of supporters, so thank you for everything that you do!

Please consider making a donation to Athletes for Hope this holiday here every dollar counts.

Happy Holidays,

Ivan Blumberg
CEO, Athletes for Hope


AFH 2015 Review