Celebrating our 10th year of helping athletes connect with causes they care about, has allowed us to reflect on those who have gone above and beyond to help others. This month, we are highlighting USA Track and Field’s N’aithan Scott in his own words.
“Athletes for Hope has helped me become more confident as a leader outside of athletics. I have encouraged and inspired children in many ways through AFH and I couldn’t be more thankful.
My second AFH visit was one to remember. After my visit, a student came up to say thank you and when he did he cried. After asking him what was wrong, he replied with “You picked me to race with you. I never get picked for anything and you picked me. I feel so happy that you thought I was special like you.” I hugged the kid and told him he was a great young man and that no matter what, he could be whatever he wanted as long as he believed in himself. (It made me tear up leaving the school)
I knew at that moment, AFH was something I wanted to be part of for a very long time. That is my favorite memory with AFH. I may come to a school to talk about healthy and active lifestyles, but I always leave as an inspiration and role model.
AFH inspires the youth to be the best they can be. It gives children the chance to see their dreams in a reality by having athletes spend time with them. Not only do the children grow and find benefits from AFH, but the athletes are also benefiting from AFH as well. We, as athletes, see how we impact the future generations and it humbles us and makes us better people. AFH is one of the best organizations I have ever been part of.”
As we celebrate our 10th year of helping athletes connect with causes they care about, we want to highlight the extraordinary efforts of our member athletes. This month, we are highlighting USA Track and Field’s, Kendra Chambers.
Over the last few years, Kendra has volunteered multiple times at local schools through our collaboration with Let’s Move Active Schools. We sat down with Kendra to ask her about her experience with AFH and giving back.
AFH: “How has AFH helped you with your philanthropic journey?”
Kendra: “AFH had helped me in so many ways. They make doing what I love which is inspiring kids by spreading my story so much easier on me. They have made all of my school visits much more rewarding and meaningful because I get to focus on being an elite athlete while they help me get connected with our future generations!”
AFH: “What is your favorite memory or experience in working with AFH?”
Kendra: “My favorite memory is when I went to a school and they had posters of me everywhere, they printed out pictures and they practically knew everything about me. (It is such blessing to have the platform that we athletes do!) I was excited to share my story with them but they knew it all. It was funny yet extreme humbling at the same time. I’ll always remembering feeling pretty famous that day!”
“AFH is special. Not many athletes think about others or have the time to. They’ve created a program that works but more importantly gets kids active eating right and they are excited about meeting somebody who cares about them. I can’t say enough about the people of AHF, they give us hope knowing that there are people out there who care just as much as you do about our future leaders and how our youth is developing now. I’m extremely grateful for AFH! Thank you!”
Thank YOU, Kendra, for being such a strong AFH member over the years. We appreciate your drive to help others – especially the kids.
At Athletes for Hope, we help athletes determine what cause aligns most with you they are and what they believe in. When Olympic race-walker Erin Gray came to us, she already knew where she wanted to spend her time.
At the age of 12, Erin had open-heart surgery to repair a misplaced pulmonary vein which was causing blood to flow into the wrong atrium. Experts stated she would die of heart failure by the age of 30 if it wasn’t fixed. Gray was frightened. “It taught me to appreciate my body, what it can do, and how everything that is normal in my life can be taken away.”
Erin knew she wanted to give back to children who were faced with similar situations and staying in the children’s hospital. Athletes for Hope was able to connect Erin to the very same hospital where she was treated years before, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon where she has done multiple visits. Erin has also done work with her Boys and Girls Clubs to shape kids’ lives.
These days, Erin is still competing in events as well as fulfilling her dream to become a physician. She is in her 4th year of medical school at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific – Northwest. We wish Erin the best and thank her for being part of the AFH community.
Athletes for Hope partners with several organizations that advocate for policy change on various global issues. One of these groups is 1,000 Days – an organization dedicated to improving nutrition for women and children in the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday. This important time-frame sets the foundation for all the days that follow in life and could mean the difference between a child living or dying.
We know that nutrition is a necessary key to athletic success and we know that our member athletes care about giving back to causes that benefit the lives of children around the globe. 1,000 Days has been a great match for athletes like Sanya Richards-Ross and Kristine Lily. The duo worked with AFH and 1,000 Days to create PSA’s and give their name to a petition supporting funding for programs that will help address malnutrition in our country and around the world.
Malnutrition robs children of their lives and the opportunity to reach their potential. 1,000 Days is working to change this but they need your help. We invite you to sign the petition to end childhood malnutrition and share it with your fans and friends on your social media outlets. We encourage you to contact us. if you are interested in getting more involved with this wonderful group.
Olympic hopeful and track star, Jordin Andrade, visited a Let’s Move Active School in Seattle this month. Jordin shared why he volunteers with Athletes for Hope and why Let’s Move Active Schools is important to him.
Why did you volunteer?
I volunteered to encourage kids to explore their abilities and to be active. The chance to go outdoors and have an adventure is not always easy for kids these days. I want to use my experience to help show kids that anything is possible and to take advantage of being young while they can.
Why Let’s Move Active Schools?
I was in love with sports and video games as a kid. Many people doubted my athletic abilities, even the closest people told me that I couldn’t be the great athlete that I dreamt to be. I quit sports at one point out of fear of not being good enough as so many thought I would be. I don’t want anyone to quit their passions because of what other people say – whether it is sports or any hobby they love.
What was your favorite part of the day?
My favorite part of the day was meeting the kids after the speech. I was able to see the energy and personalities of all the children on a more personal level than in an assembly. I hope I sparked a passion to explore the possibilities this world has to offer!
All American, NCAA Division I Steeplechaser, Marisa Howard, visited the kids from Roosevelt Elementary recently. Marisa is not only a fantastic athlete, but by day she is a school nurse! After her visit she explained why she loves giving back to kids in Boise, ID.
Why do you volunteer?
I wanted to volunteer because I wanted to make a connection to the community that has backed my running career. Boise is such an awesome place to live and train and I want people to know that. Getting these students active and thinking about their health at a young age is super important so they can start these habits and build on them into adulthood. I am a part-time school nurse, so it was awesome having both my worlds collide.
What draws you to Let’s Move Active Schools?
The main thing that draws me to this cause is the lack of activity that children are involved in these days. Between long school days and the pull of technology, kids aren’t outside playing like they used to be. I want to stress the importance of getting outside and finding something that you enjoy. My best and favorite part of my day is when I get to lace up my shoes and enjoy the beauty of the trails and I would hope that some of these students can find that same joy in running or any form of exercise.
What was your favorite part of the day?
My favorite part of the day was when we played the tunnel of love! The PE teacher showed me this game where the students all line up and make a tunnel with their feet and hands touching the air and their bottoms in the air, like a reverse V-up. Then a student had to crawl through the tunnel and add onto the tunnel on the other side. The gym was way too crowded but we improvised and the kids made it work! I also enjoyed answering all the questions they had at the end of the visit.