Shining a Light on Athletes and the Work They Do in Their Communities
Athletes share their stories on what inspires them to make a difference
As the world turns its focus to cheer on athletes competing at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the incredible athletic achievements will inspire people from around the globe. In addition to cheering alongside families and fans, P&G is celebrating those athletes who serve their communities off the field of play through the Athletes for Good program.
P&G, the IOC and the IPC established Athletes for Good in the lead up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 to recognize the accomplishments and charitable work of Olympians, Paralympians, and Hopefuls. Since its inception, the program has awarded $900,000 of grant funding to support the causes that its recipients champion. From protecting the environment, to mentoring disadvantaged children, to advocating for disability rights, Athletes for Good recipients are true role models – making a difference in the lives of others both on and off the field of play.
Learn more about what our Athlete for Good recipients are passionate about and how they support the charity with whom they partner.
Passion: Brittney has always had a passion for preserving the environment, especially as a winter sport athlete. She advocates for climate change solutions and says that she has seen more rain races in the last four years than snow races. Brittney believes addressing climate change starts with improving policy change and developing a sustainable living approach in everyday life. As such, last year she partnered with U.S. House and Senate representative from New York to help get policies passed to promote more clean energy use in the state.
Charity Support: Brittney works with Protect Our Winters (POW) and joined its Athlete Alliance, a community of more than 150 athletes who inspire policies and actions to create a more sustainable society. POW activates its alliance to drive systemic change through lobbying and driving policy action. POW supports accelerating to a clean energy economy through reduced emissions, adding renewable energy to the grid and supporting worker transition to clean jobs. The Athletes for Good grant will be used to provide Athlete Alliance members with training tools and support to build, strengthen, inspire, and mobilize the 50+ million people in the United States who love the outdoors to act on climate.
Sport: Para Biathlon and Para Cross-Country Skiing
Passion: Dan puts action behind his mission to empower children at a young age through social and emotional learning as a Classroom Champions mentor. He takes advantage of his unique perspective as a Paralympian, combined with his status as a role model, to make a positive impact on children that will last throughout their lives.
Charity Support: Dan has teamed up with Classroom Champions to provide lessons on topics such as perseverance, community, healthy living, and goal setting. He also hosts live virtual conversations with his assigned classrooms, answering questions and going over the lesson plans. Research shows that when students participate in the program their math and reading scores improve, attendance goes up, bullying decreases and 100% of teachers reported that the program improved student resilience in the face of obstacles. The Athletes for Good grant will enable 3,200 additional kids to participate in the program, helping Classroom Champions get closer to its goal of mentoring 1 million kids weekly by 2025.
Sport: Para Snowboarding
Passion: Before she lost her leg, Arlene was determined that after the amputation she would return to her life as a fire fighter and a snowboarder. But as a new amputee in a predominantly two-legged world, she began to face challenges that set her back and realized she needed to set healthy new life goals with the encouragement and support from others. She has found passion and purpose in paying it forward to others through snowboarding coaching and mentorship.
Charity Support: In searching for ways to re-connect with snowboarding after her leg amputation, Arlene found Adaptive Action Sports (AAS). This organization provided her a safe community to get back to participating in her passion. Since its founding in 2005, AAS has been paving the way in bringing action sports to the disabled community. The Athletes for Good grant will go towards lessons for adaptive individuals who have never tried snowboarding and clinics for those who are working to improve their skills to move along the AAS pipeline continuum.
Sport: Para Biathlon and Para Cross-Country Skiing
Passion: Oksana believes in the importance of recognizing unsung heroes who lend a hand in their community because they can make a tremendous impact in the lives of others. For example, at the beginning of her own sports career, the Louisville Adaptive Rowing Club was formative in her development and helped her when she believes they didn’t have to. Their kindness and care for others allowed Oksana to break into adaptive sport, giving her the opportunity to compete, and ultimately make it all the way to the Paralympic Winter Games.
Charity Support: In collaboration with fellow athletes, Oksana founded Kindness Wins to celebrate and recognize acts of good on and off the field of play with Medals of Kindness. Oksana has awarded several Medals of Kindness for individuals doing their part to spread inclusivity and goodness throughout their communities. Athletes for Good grant funding will allow the organization to continue awarding Medals of Kindness and subsequent grants to individuals in communities across the country.
Passion: Chris is passionate about mentoring children in underserved communities, guiding them towards a positive future and encouraging them to give back. As a traveling athlete, he has worked for the past six years to connect with hundreds of children remotely, serving as a role model and sharing the wisdom he has learned on his own journey to the Olympic Winter Games.
Charity Support: Chris is currently mentoring eight classrooms with Classroom Champions, an organization that provides kids social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum and mentorship programs to improve engagement, build growth mindsets, and inspire positive classroom culture. Research shows that when students participate in the program their math and reading scores improve, attendance goes up, bullying decreases and 100% of teachers reported that the program improved student resilience in the face of obstacles. The Athletes for Good grant will enable 3,200 additional kids to participate in the program, helping Classroom Champions get closer to its goal of mentoring 1 million kids weekly by 2025.
Kendall Coyne Schofield
Passion: Kendall and her husband, NFL player Michael Schofield, hail from the suburbs of Chicago and are passionate about giving back and serving the communities around them. They have targeted five key areas that they support locally with their charitable efforts – first responders, military, families in need, youth sports, and education & research. Kendall recognizes there is so much need in the world and strives to eliminate some of that need through her community outreach support.
Charity Support: The Schofield Family Foundation was founded by Kendall and Michael in 2019 to provide funding, support, and awareness to improve the lives of others in local Chicago communities. The Foundation has donated $50,000 to the Ronald McDonald House of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana to help build a room in the Oak Lawn House, 60,000 meals to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, established a 5-year partnership with Heartland Service Dogs, two four-year scholarships to Girls in the Game and 50 holiday gifts to the Andrew Holmes Foundation and Project Fire Buddies. There have also been three $5,000 scholarships granted to Kendall and Michael’s alma mater, Carl Sandburg High School, for senior student-athletes committed to playing sports in college. With the Athletes for Good grant, the Foundation will continue its community efforts. Additionally, a portion of the funding will go to the Kendall Coyne Dream Big Park and the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago.
Sport: Para Alpine Skiing
Passion: After losing her sight, Danelle found her passion and purpose at age 29 through skiing and the mentorship she experienced along the way. She was fortunate to find a small group of women and girls, who fiercely supported each other through the challenges. As an adaptive athlete, she has experienced what the power of sport and community can do to change lives, and she is dedicated to helping women with disabilities have the support needed to reach their full potential.
Charity Support: In paying it forward, Danelle launched her own charity, the Sisters In Sports Foundation to provide women and girls with disabilities the same type of support and mentorship she received. The Athletes for Good grant will enable the Foundation to provide scholarship funding and athlete mentorship to women with disabilities. The scholarship program provides financial support for women purchasing adaptive equipment and sponsors athletes interested in competing at an international level.
QUIZ: The Olympic Games Spirit
Athletes for Good Fund Recipients Share Their Passion for Doing Good