Athletes for Good Fund Recipients Share Their Passion for Doing Good | Good Everyday

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Athletes for Good Fund Recipients Share Their Passion for Doing Good

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.

Sport: Paralympic Track and Field

Passion: When Scout was growing up, she struggled with not being included. Through a Challenged Athletes Foundation grant, Scout received her first running leg which changed her life forever. Sports became a way she could connect with her peers. As a result, Scout says “I no longer felt marginalized. I didn’t feel like the ugly duckling.” She loves to give back to CAF as an ambassador and help kids to realize their true potential despite their physical limitations. Scout attends clinics, mentors kids, and raises awareness for CAF and the work that they do.

Charity: Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) provides opportunities and support to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. CAF believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.

Sport: Skateboarding

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.

Sport: Skateboarding

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.

Sport: Paralympic Swimming

Passion: Jamal’s foundation, Swim Up Hill, has developed a method to teach swimming techniques from home using everyday objects, enabling children - and adults - to build basic swimming skills even without access to a pool. “I see it as my duty to use my skills, expertise, and resources to provide greater inclusion to swim education not only for the underserved communities of the USA but ultimately those worldwide.” Jamal’s goal is to teach 1 million people to swim, starting with his home city of Los Angeles with a view to expand equity in swimming worldwide.

Charity: Swim Up Hill aims to provide greater inclusion for swim education in an effort to prevent senseless, accidental drownings. They provide specialized swim education that is tailored to the specific needs of low-to-middle income communities which continue to be affected by disproportionately high drowning rates.

Sport: Wheelchair Tennis

Passion: Emmy Kaiser works with The Cincinnati Tennis foundation, whose focus on community impact and inclusion resonates with her. “Throughout my life from a young kid up to training as a Paralympic wheelchair tennis player, I have had to deal with many obstacles from being able to afford adapted equipment and international travel to finding facilities and coaches open to wheelchair sports. CTF is working to make those difficulties easier to overcome while also getting kids excited about exercise and how to have a positive competitive experience.” Through her volunteer position as the Wheelchair and Adaptive Tennis Director she does everything from running clinics and events to building new programs to get more children with physical and cognitive disabilities involved in sports.

Charity: The Cincinnati Tennis Foundation is dedicated to using tennis and education as a vehicle to positively impact lives. Their programming includes tennis, education, and character-building instruction, and they are committed to making tennis accessible for everyone.

__Sport: Swimming __

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.

Sport: Wrestling

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.

Sport: Surfing

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.

Sport: Swimming

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.

Sport: Paralympic Track and Field

Passion: Kendall is dedicated to increasing support for adaptive athletes in California high schools, a community that has historically been underserved. “I think that it is a crucial time in our country to show equality and inclusion especially as Los Angeles will serve as host to the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.” Kendall is committed to helping other adaptive athletes achieve their athletic goals in high school and beyond, and has served as a Shot-Put Wheelchair coach for high school adaptive athletes, as well a Challenged Athlete Foundation ambassador. She has been working with Challenged Athlete Foundation since 2016, leading Elementary, Junior High and High School education on what it means to be equal and included.

Charity: Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) provides opportunities and support to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. CAF believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.

Sport: Paralympic Triathlon

Passion: Melissa co-founded Dare2Tri whose mission is to enhance the lives of individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairments by building confidence, community, health and wellness through swimming, biking, and running. Dare2Tri transforms lives by boosting individuals’ self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth. She was inspired by the volunteers who worked with her and other patients during their rehabilitations. “I was lucky to do my rehab at Walter Reed Army Medical Center where various organizations came to the hospital to get us out of our hospital rooms to show us how much ability was in our disability.” Having experienced firsthand that she could still have a thriving, active life, she wanted to help other para athletes have that same realization that they are not defined by their disability. Melissa serves as a mentor and coach for athletes attending Dare2Tri camps, and an active member of the group’s elite team.

Charity: Dare2Tri’s mission is to enhance the lives of individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairments by building confidence, community, health and wellness through swimming, biking and running. Dare2Tri not only provides encouragement and support for para athletes, but they remove barriers that prevent people with disabilities from athletics.

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.

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