Blog Entry

Athletes' Positive Contributions

Posted on: May 23, 2008 6:49 pm

NOTE:  First I want to make it clear that I am not endorsing any particular charity, event, activity, or organization, nor am I soliciting funds for such.  If a reader wants to research a particular charity, event, activity, or organization, the reader does so independently.  If anyone chooses to join or support an athlete's endeavor, it is done independently.  I will provide links for individual study for anyone who wants more information, but I am merely reporting on athletes who are giving back to their community and our society instead of reporting on steroids, crime, or the other activities that normally get the headlines.

Props to the good guys!  It's about time!  Please add any positive report you are aware of.

Category: General

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2009 12:34 am

Athletes' Positive Contributions

Thank you, Michael.  It is a pleasure to be able to report the GOOD being done by our coaches and athletes and to try to promote positive messages and help to those in need.  We get a steady dose of negatives from most sources--online, print, TV, radio, etc.  I appreciate your support.  I see your new Crimson Tide avi got approved.  Looks good!  My 'kitten in sneakers' was apparently too evil looking (lol!), but my Olympic USA Wildcat seems ok so it's all good.  Many more positive stories usually come out during March Madness and I'm looking forward to it!

God bless you,


Since: Dec 19, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2009 9:03 pm

Athletes' Positive Contributions

Sissy, I would like to take this opportunity to commend you for your wonderful works. You apparently take great pains in trying to help others. I'm sorry that CBS has taken their stance against religion and also regret that the trolls are attempting to take over the 'Prayers' thread. I had hoped to lead by example in ignoring them but a few still feel compelled to allow themselves to be pulled into meaningless rhetoric, further fueling the naysayers antagonism.

As you can see, they pulled my avatar as well. Between my recent calling, CBS's actions and the trolls, my time on these boards will be somewhat curtailed until if/when things improve. I'll continue to post the VOD and stop by from time to time and will continue to try and add anything that I feel will be helpful.

I look forward to seeing further posts of yours, along with your emails.

May God Bless.




Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2009 8:39 pm

Athletes' Positive Contributions

UConn Huskies men's basketball Hall of Fame Coach Jim Calhoun

Jim Calhoun and his wife are well-known in Connecticut for their philanthropy, especially the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center at the UConn Health Center and the annual Jim Calhoun Holiday Food Drive. Calhoun is also very active with Coaches Versus Cancer, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Children's Miracle Network, among other organizations. He has been the honorary chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation for over a decade.

Thanks, Coach!

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2009 2:52 pm

Athletes' Positive Contributions

Superbowl 2009 Quarterbacks' Charities

Kurt Warner's First Things First Foundation

This charitable foundation has multiple outreaches and functions.  The philosophy behind the charity is putting faith and family first and can be seen in organized charity events and even in anonymous acts of charity by Kurt, his wife Brenda, and their 5 oldest children.  They give money to existing charities; they hold their own functions for recreation in children's hospitals, have clothing drives for the poor, provide help for the Special Olympics, arrange trips for families to Disneyland, organize athletic events for kids and get game tickets for families, and much more.  As a family, they travel to the Arizona Cardinals away games and go out to dinner afterwards.  Kurt has his kids scan the other families in the restaurant where they are eating and select one table, and Kurt anonymously arranges to pay for the dinner tab for that table of people.  Their projects include Home for the Holidays, CHEER, Mission Possible, and many more.  For more details, visit Kurt's website above.

The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation

Police and Fire Departments K-9 Units

The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, founded by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, disperses grants to police and fire departments' canine units throughout the US.  "My Dad instilled in me a love and respect for animals. This is a good way to combine that passion with a desire to support the police and fire departments, which deserve all the appropriate resources needed to protect our cities and neighborhoods, and allow these brave men and women to arrive home safely."

Assistance for Children's Charities

Plans for the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation also include grantmaking to nonprofit organizations assisting children in need in cities where Ben has lived and played football.  In commenting on why establishing a charitable foundation is important to him,"Roethlisberger said, "I have been blessed with opportunities throughout my life to pursue my goals and achieve some success, all under the guidance of a loving family and supportive communities. I was raised to appreciate my blessings and always try to help others who may not be as fortunate. I feel honored to be able to do so."

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2009 1:25 pm

Athletes' Positive Contributions

Barefoot for a Cause

IUPUI basketball coach Hunter again helps Samaritan's Feet charity

IUPUI's Hunter builds on his effort in 2nd year supporting shoe charity

Ron Hunter exhorted his team. He stomped. He even got a technical foul for stepping too far onto the court while disputing an official's call.

For the second year in a row, the IUPUI men's basketball coach did it all barefoot to raise awareness for Samaritan's Feet, a charity that aims to raise 10 million pairs of shoes in a 10-year span for children living in poverty around the world.

Hunter, who was named a Person of the Year for 2008 by ABC News for his efforts, said his goal is to raise 1 million pairs of shoes this weekend.

"When I go to bed tonight, I know a million children in this world will be getting their first pair of shoes, and I know the hope that's going to give them," Hunter said after IUPUI's 58-56 loss to Centenary on a basket at the buzzer.

"I didn't win a basketball game, but we probably won some souls and won some fans we don't even know about. From the generosity of people around this state and this country, a million kids are going to be happy."

This time, Hunter knows firsthand the impact of his efforts.

Over the summer, he took thousands of donated shoes to Peru. Instead of simply making deliveries at various locations, Hunter, his assistants and several players washed children's feet, then fitted them with shoes.

"It changed our lives," Hunter said earlier this week. "What I never really realized is this: A pair of shoes is a mode of transportation to those kids. They don't just get on a bus or get in a car to go somewhere.

"So for us to deliver them shoes, it brings them hope. You see them smile and see their faces light up and that sticks with you. I can tell you that we'll never forget that."

IUPUI assistant coaches Todd Howard, Matt Crenshaw and Austin Parkinson also were barefoot for Saturday's game. Members of IUPUI's student section stood and cheered barefoot the entire game. Jaguars radio voice Greg Rakestraw broadcast the game barefoot.

Before tipoff, Centenary coach Greg Gary joined the cause, walking to his bench without shoes.

Four members of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performed the national anthem barefoot in front of a full house at The Jungle on a night labeled "Barefoot For a Cause."

IUPUI women's basketball coach Shann Hart coached barefoot in her team's 65-53 victory over Centenary on Saturday afternoon. A shoe collection bin in the concourse outside the gymnasium was overflowing with donations before tipoff of the men's game.

Earlier in the day, Butler's Brad Stevens and Illinois-Chicago's Jimmy Collins both coached barefoot in the Bulldogs' 59-52 victory in Chicago. Butler's assistants and trainer Ryan Galloy went barefoot for the game televised on ESPN2.

Stevens said the gesture is typical of college basketball coaches.

"It's one of the most giving groups of people you've ever been around," he said. "They care about people. They're talking about 'team' all the time. It's kind of what our livelihood is.

"The chance to serve somebody else is certainly meaningful. Whatever we can do to raise awareness on a small platform is worth it."

Before this season, Hunter challenged his coaching colleagues to join the effort. Twenty-six of them either coached barefoot over the weekend or plan to do so this week, according to Among them are Detroit and former Indiana University assistant Ray McCallum, Benny Moss of North Carolina-Wilmington, Missouri-Kansas City's Matt Brown and Scott Nagy of South Dakota State.

The movement has gone national, with high school and youth coaches from California and Arizona to Pennsylvania and North Carolina going barefoot for a game.

Indiana State coach Kevin McKenna said he will coach barefoot Wednesday against Southern Illinois.

"This is a great cause to get involved with," McKenna said earlier in the week. "There are a lot of things in life we take for granted, like having a pair of shoes on our feet, but there are millions of people less fortunate in this world than we are."

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2009 7:59 pm

Athletes' Positive Contributions

Samaritan's Feet

Last year, to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, IUPUI men's basketball coach Ron Hunter coached barefoot from the side line to point out the need for people in poverty to have shoes.  He teamed up with the North Carolina based program, Samaritan's Feet, to raise donations of 1,000 pairs of shoes.  They raised 140,000 pair, which were distributed by Coach Hunter and his basketball team last summer in South America.  This year, during games played on 1/14/09, many coaches and public officials will be going barefoot to raise awareness for the need for children's shoes in impoverished areas of the US due to the economic difficulties.  The goal is 1 million pairs of shoes for kid.  The organization works through churches, the United Way, and private institutions, and they have expanded from just donating shoes to setting up education programs in Africa, South America, North America, and Asia, and they raise money with JC Jam Fest 3-on-3 basketball tournaments wherever they are allowed to travel.

Please pray for their efforts this year, read about the program at , learn how to donate shoes for kids this year,  and check my Athlete's Positive Contributions blog earlier post for the story of last year's trip by Coach Hunter and his team to South America and their experiences in giving shoes out to the poor their.  Have a tissue ready!  One player was asked if he was God and could he get shoes for the child's mother.  The players responded, in tears, by saying he wasn't God but God sent him, then he took off his own shoes and gave them to the child to give to the mother.  A great coach teaching his basketball players a greater lesson than just jump shots and using basketball to reach out to the world.  Great site, great program.

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2008 3:52 pm

Athletes' Positive Contributions

Boston Celtic Rajon Rondo's blog
The Spirit of Giving
Yall know that I am a giver. Last night I did it on the court with 17 assists, and today and earlier in the week I did it off the court with Shaw's. I have teamed up with Shaw's and the New England food banks, for their ninth annual Spirit of Giving food drive. We are trying to urge everyone to donate to their local food banks. Right now, food banks are suffering-they have more food going out than coming in. Because the economy is soo bad, more and more families are in need of help. Many of these families can't even afford to feed their children. That's why I have made a commitment to helping pool as much food as possible for as many families as possible. You can find a cut out of me in all of the Shaw's and Star Market groceries stores in the New England area. To help, go over to my display where you can pick up a $5-$15 dollar bag of food that will be delivered to your local food bank. Times are tough, 1 in 8 Americans do not know where they are going to get their next meal from. But, with your help we can fight hunger this season.

--Keep it up Rajon!  We should all follow his example and dish out those assists!

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2008 1:18 am

Athletes' Positive Contributions

Found another great one today:

A remarkably far-reaching foundation by pitcher Jamie Moyer of the Phillies and his wife to impact children with health problems, kids effected by family addiction, cancer research, and much more.  From their site:

The Moyer Foundation

The Moyer Foundation was established by Major League All-Star Pitcher, Jamie Moyer and his wife Karen in 2000. Since its inception, The Moyer Foundation has raised over $15 million to support over 150 non-profit organizations that help children in severe distress. The Moyer Foundation is a public foundation and 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, so all donations are fully tax deductible.

Mission Statement
To offer encouragement, comfort and support to children enduring a time of profound emotional, physical or financial distress and provide opportunities for enhancing overall wellness, stability and quality of life.

Who We Help
The Moyer Foundation funds non-profit organizations that help children in severe distress--children with life threatening illnesses or physical limitations, children who are coping with the loss of loved one, children who are victims of abuse or neglect.

In addition to funding organizations through grants, The Moyer Foundation established and funds the following key initiatives and community partnerships:

"Camp Erin" - A weekend bereavement camp created by The Moyer Foundation to offer comfort to children and teenagers grieving the death of a loved one. The Foundation teams up with Hospice and Home Care groups to establish and run these special bereavement camps.

"Camp Mariposa" - An initiative created by The Moyer Foundation and Youth Eastside Services in 2007, Camp Mariposa is one of the only camps of its kind dedicated to serving children who are affected by addiction in their families.

"The Gregory Fund" - An initiative created by The Moyer Foundation and The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, dedicated to raising funds and awareness for early cancer detection research. The Gregory Fund was inspired by Gregory Chaya, a cancer survivor Jamie Moyer met in 1993. In 2004, The Moyer Foundation made its largest commitment to date - a $1.5 million, multi-year gift in support of The Gregory Fund.

"Children's Pediatric Palliative Care and Child Life Programs" - The Moyer Foundation has committed to provide a multi-year $1.25 million grant to Children's to establish The Moyer Foundation Endowment for Excellence in Pediatric Palliative Care and to continue the foundation's support of the Child Life program. The Children's Palliative Care program is one of the first of its kind and provides medical, psychological, social and logistical services for children with life-limiting illness. Palliative care is often provided from the time of diagnosis and continues through the course of the child's life. The Child Life program focuses on the emotional and developmental needs of hospitalized children and their families. Child Life specialists help reduce the anxiety associated with a hospital stay by providing education, preparation and support for medical treatments.

Swedish Medical Center’s Gossman Center for Advanced Pediatric and Perinatal Simulation - The Moyer Foundation has made a commitment to support the Pacific Northwest’s first pediatric and perinatal simulation center specifically designed to advance the skills of already well-trained health-care teams in critical clinical situations. The center will allow highly specialized medical teams to perfect their skills efficiently, without the involvement of real - and very vulnerable - pediatric patients.

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: September 28, 2008 4:34 pm

Athletes' Positive Contributions

I found this story as I watched today's football games.  I'm posting an article from a newspaper about Matt Bryant, kicker for Tampa Bay, and his wife Melissa and the death of their 3 month old son this past Wednesday.  Please keep Matt and Melissa and their other children in  your prayers and read the article below.  Lord, be with these people in a way that makes Your presence and comfort known in the deepest way ever.  Father, have mercy and compassion in Jesus' name, Amen

Go Hug Your Child
GARY SHELTON, St. Petersburg Times

Hug your child. At a time like this, that's really all you can do.

You can try to imagine Matt Bryant's pain, but down deep, you realize it is unimaginable. Still, the thoughts of parents losing their 3-month-old son, as Matt, the kicker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and his wife, Melissa, did Wednesday, will twist your insides and leave you numb.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Matt Bryant and wife, Melissa, are grieving the loss of their 3-month-old son who died Wednesday.  You can try to think of the proper words to say, but really, words are powerless at a time like this. For the Bryants, for any parents losing a child, there is simply loss and pain and a hole that even time will not close.

You can light candles and you can say prayers. You can make donations and you can send flowers. You can shed tears and you can approximate perhaps an ounce of the tons of pain that the Bryants feel.

Then you can look around your home.

And you can embrace your children.

Melissa, making the rounds to wake up children Daniel, Jacob, Joshua, Madison and Tre for school Wednesday found Matthew Tryson not breathing. The cause of his death is to be determined.

The Bryants have been involved in charitable work to benefit children. Tre, who turns 2 tomorrow, spent three weeks in an incubator at St. Joseph's Women's Hospital in Tampa, weighing only 3 pounds, 10 ounces at birth.

For years they have tried to help grieving parents deal with illness and loss. Now, they are being embraced.

There is something about an unspeakable loss that touches us all, that bonds us through anguish. Matt Bryant is no longer simply a football player who kicks for the colours of the home team. He is one of us. He is a neighbour. He is a fellow parent struggling to endure the pain of losing his young son.

Down deep, we are all aware that sports are an illusion, and that the people on the field lead lives that are very different from ours. Except for times like these. At times like these, we are all alike. We are all human.

And so a community grieves for the Bryants.

Around the Bucs' locker room, Bryant is considered one of the good guys. He was the team's Man of the Year in 2007 mostly because of his charity work with children. He raised money for All Children's Hospital, and he was the spokesperson for a charity that tried to combat child predators, and he and Melissa were spokespersons in a fight against cystic fibrosis.

Life is cruel that way. A man works hard to make sure that fewer parents have to cry, and one day, the tears are his.

How does a man deal with this kind of loss? The only answer is "as best he can."

Most of us grumble about our job and our workload, after all. Bryant could have done that this training camp. After all, he wasn't sharp, and his boss seemed to be considering hiring someone new, and applicants were showing up for his job. Turns out, that was a piece of cake.


This is hard.

If you are a parent, you remember those first few months.

You remember the dreams and the goals and the sweetness of watching a baby sleep. You remember the feeling of a baby against your neck and the warmth and the joy. Even the thought of having that ripped away from you is difficult to think about.

Today, the Bryants are trying to endure.

Keep them in your thoughts, won't you?

Oh, and hug your child.


Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: September 8, 2008 7:12 pm

Athletes' Positive Contributions

Louisville Ironman Athletes Assist Hurricane Gustav Evacuees

While more than 1,900 athletes competed in August 31's Ford Ironman Louisville event, several thousand Louisiana and Gulf Coast residents relocated to the state of Kentucky avoiding Hurricane Gustav.

To support relief efforts, Ironman made a donation of 960 lbs. of food and a combination of more than 4,400 8 oz. and 12 oz. bottles of water to the Kentucky Exposition Center, where evacuees are being headquartered.

The Greater Louisville Sports Commission assisted in implementing the donation of water for the event from the Louisville Water Company, who served as the official water supplier of Ford Ironman Louisville.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or