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AFH News

Athletes for Hope Continues Founders’ Legacies Through Athlete Leadership Council

Over seventeen years ago, a group of elite athletes came together to form the world’s leading sports philanthropy organization, Athletes for Hope (AFH). Since its inception AFH has worked with thousands of athletes worldwide, connecting with a minimum of 5 athletes a day, educating and engaging them on how to make the world a better place. 

Among the AFH Founding Athletes was “the Greatest,” Muhammad Ali. Regarded as one of the most significant sports figures of the 20th century and the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, Ali’s greatest triumphs have taken place outside of the ring as a leader and champion of life.

Through his humanitarian efforts, he has perhaps contributed more than any other athlete to make the world a better place. Recipient of the 1997 Arthur Ashe Courage Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, Muhammad leaves a legacy that continues to inspire people all over the world.

During the month of Ali’s birthday, a symbol of resilience, advocacy, and philanthropy, Athletes for Hope announces its launch of the newly formed Athlete Leadership Council (ALC) that will play a crucial role in carrying forward Ali’s vision by leveraging the influence of athletes to create positive social change.

Spearheaded by esteemed athletes Stephen Curry, Katie Ledecky and Nathan Chen, the ALC is a nod to the AFH Founding Athletes as the generational athletes of today continue on their legacy by inspiring the next generation of sports leaders.

“It means so much to be able to continue the legacy of AFH Founding Athletes like Muhammad Ali, Mia Hamm, Andre Agassi, Alonzo Mourning and others who joined forces to create Athletes for Hope over 17 years ago,” said Stephen Curry, renowned NBA Superstar and Co-Founder of Eat. Learn. Play. “It’s a privilege to carry forward their shared belief that all athletes- no matter what level, background or phase in their career- have the innate ability to make the world a better place.”

The Athlete Leadership Council will focus on collaborative efforts and inspiring the next generation of athletes to address social issues, support charitable causes, and positively engage with communities globally.

AFH remains committed to creating a world where athletes can contribute meaningfully to society beyond their athletic achievements, with a focus on athlete volunteerism and addressing physical health and mental health in communities all over the world.

Athletes for Hope is free of charge to athletes of any level. If you are a current or retired athlete looking to make a difference in your community, we invite you to work with us!

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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Steph Curry and Nothing But Nets Want You to #CallYourShot

This week, the world celebrated World Malaria Day – a day to call attention to the deadly, yet preventable, disease of malaria. A child dies every two minutes from this disease, but it doesn’t have to happen. You can save lives by just donating $10 for a life-saving mosquito net. These nets have already saved over 6.5 million lives and you can help save even more. Just #CallYourShot.

Our friends at Nothing but Nets and basketball phenom, Stephen Curry, are asking everyone who wants to play a role in ending malaria to film themselves calling—and making—their best, most creative, most outrageous shot. Then challenge your friends, family and co-workers to do the same and post the video online.

The final step—and the most critical—is sending lifesaving bed nets to families in need so they can protect themselves from this deadly disease. So donate at

Several of you have submitted your own shots via social media with the hashtag #CallYourShot already. Take a look at the cool shots and submit your own today. Don’t forget to use the hashtag and to challenge your teammates to participate and to donate.

JOIN ME, @stephencurry30 @unfoundation and @nothingbutnetsofficial in the #callyourshot campaign to help defeat malaria. This is my video, calling mine. (And even though I miss it, I'm still headed to the website to donate to the cause. ?) I challenge 1. @giveitbackfdn founders and bad a$$es @cthomp_3 @tamamiyashiro 2. Real life and beach volleyball superhero @caseypatt & 3. our @usavolleyball team captain and my great friend, @christadietzen – you guys are up! And the rest of you!! Please join us in this campaign by posting a video of you trying your favorite trick shot and challenging 3 friends to do the same, and then head to to donate to the cause! (Link is in bio) Let's #defeatmalaria together. ????? #callyourshot #defeatmalaria #malarianomore #nothingbutnets #worldmalariaday #april25 #endit #almostthere #athletesforacause #together #wecan #changetheworld #onemovementatatime @athletesforhope

A video posted by Kristin Richards Hildebrand (@_kristinhildebrand) on