Athletes’ stories on what inspires them to make a difference
Athletes’ stories on what inspires them to make a difference
Training for the Olympic Games is a full-time job – athletes spend years and thousands of hours working towards that goal. But many are equally dedicated to helping others in their communities — demonstrating what it means to Lead with Love.
Their stories inspired us to take action to encourage even more positive change through the Athletes for Good Fund. Totaling more than $500,000, the Athletes for Good Fund celebrates and fuels the work of Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls who are partnering with charitable causes to help others and serve their communities in the areas of Community Impact, Equality & Inclusion, and Environmental Sustainability.
Learn what inspires our Athletes for Good Fund recipients and about the charities they support.
Passion: In 2012, Amelia started the nonprofit Exposure Skate, which hosts skateboarding events that increase the access and awareness of women in the sport while also supporting survivors of domestic abuse. “The sport of skateboarding has given me so much - a community, a sense of purpose, a lesson in never giving up and always getting up after I fall. I feel that I owe it to skateboarding, to my community and to all of the women and girls around me to share my passion and to make the sport accessible to as many women as I can.” Exposure's youth program, Skate Rising, not only teaches girls 4-18 how to skate but involves them in service activities. Each month, girls work on projects that range from making friendship bracelets for victims of bullying to assembling homeless support kits, and then they learn how to skate!
Charity: Exposure Skate's mission is to build compassion through service and empowerment through skateboarding in women and girls. They believe combining service with skateboarding can help to teach empathy, civic engagement, confidence, and goal setting.
Passion: Mariah is dedicated to improving inclusivity and representation in the skateboarding community and works with Skate Like a Girl to support those goals. “Skateboarding is younger and more non-traditional, but that hasn’t always meant that people like me have had the same opportunities. And although I am supported by a lot of amazing male leaders and peers in my community, I know first-hand how intimidating this sport can be when you’re the only girl at the skate spot and people in magazines don’t look like you. Skateboarding has a lot of work to do and I’m excited to be a part of that work!”
Charity: Skate Like a Girl strives to create an inclusive community by promoting confidence, leadership, and social justice through skateboarding. Their vision is to empower skaters, especially young women and trans people, to grow into strong, confident leaders who promote and implement social equity.
Passion: Simone is an outspoken advocate for challenging racial stereotypes in competitive swimming. She has consistently used her platform to educate her followers on how to be actively anti-racist, amplify Black voices, and encourage all people to dream big and beyond stereotypes. Simone works with The Conscious Kid as part of her efforts to increase equity among children. “The Conscious Kid strives to combat racism by working to dispel misconceptions and stereotypes. Educating the next generation to believe in equality, equity and justice is important, and the Conscious Kid puts that mission at the forefront of their organization.”
Charity: The Conscious Kid is an education, research, and policy organization dedicated to equity and promoting healthy racial identity development in youth. They support organizations, families, and educators in taking action to disrupt racism in kids.
Passion: In 2017 Helen encountered a refugee camp while visiting Lesvos in Greece, her father’s home country. She was moved by the country’s response to the 2015 refugee crisis, but concerned by the conditions in the camp, which was home to more than 9x the number of refuges it was designed to house. Her experience there drove her to partner with When We Band Together, which helps enrich the lives and ensure dignity for refugees. “My passion is to help refugees to receive health, mental, physical and emotional benefits through sport and wellness resources. Sport can serve as a beautiful vehicle to provide inclusion to all who wish to participate.“
Charity: When We Band Together establishes projects that emphasize dignity and empowerment. One of their key principles is “by refuges, for refugees”; many programs hosted in their Dave Schultze Sports, Arts and Wellness Center have teachers from the refugee community.
Passion: In 2018, Carissa and her father, Chris, founded Moore Aloha. Carissa’s own experiences shaped her determination to provide opportunities for young females to succeed. Using surfing as a platform, Moore Aloha’s goal is to bring girls together in and around water to share, encourage and inspire each other. “Growing up, I experienced how hard it can be to stay positive and true to yourself with all the negative distractions and social pressures. I hope that through my foundation I can create an environment where girls can feel free to be themselves, live fearlessly and are also encouraged to take time for others and the world around them.”
Charity: Moore Aloha was started with a simple goal in mind: Moore Love. The non-profit’s mission is to encourage young females through the sport of surfing to be strong, confident, and compassionate individuals.
Passion: In the summer of 2020, Lia cofounded Swimmers for Change to raise awareness and funds for charities supporting Black and minority communities including Trident Swim Foundation. The group produced a series of educational webinars featuring members of the swimming community and covering topics from racism to mental health to quarantine. More than 30 Olympic, Paralympic and US National Team athletes participated in the webinars, which can be seen here. “I want to provide for others, the same opportunities that have been provided for me so that children are able to fulfill their potential no matter the circumstances they were born into.”
Charity: The Trident Swim Foundation emphasizes individual and team growth, a thorough knowledge of swimming, the spirit of sportsmanship, a healthy lifestyle, and academic excellence. They aim to build leaders who strive for excellence in the classroom and the pool.
We hope you are as inspired as we are by the amazing work these athletes are doing in their communities! By taking action on P&G Good Everyday, you can #LeadWithLove to support causes you care about while getting rewarded. Learn more about how you can make an impact today.