The Big League Philanthropist podcast shares stories of athletes and nonprofits using #sportsphilanthropy to change the world. Learn why these athletes were motivated to get involved and what motivates them to keep going!
In this episode of Big League Philanthropist, Danielle sits down with Jasmine Thomas, a WNBA player for the Connecticut Sun and activist. Jasmine talks to us about her philanthropy with the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and her support of the WNBA’s Breast Health Awareness (BHA) initiative.
Jasmine and Danielle also discuss her experience playing in the WNBA this season, how important it was for her and her fellow players to make sure this season was all about activism, and more! You can follow Jasmine on Twitter and Instagram.
Today’s episode features our friend and Executive Director of Every Kid Sports, Natalie Hummel! Natalie is one of the co-founders or Every Kid Sports and a former athlete herself. She played volleyball at Colorado State University and now helps young people around the country access sports programming.
Every Kid Sports helps families afford to keep their kids in sports and provides financial assistance with registration fees for those who need it. There are a lot of misconceptions and misrepresentations about the state of youth sports in this country. It’s a pay to play model and that knocks out a lot of families who just can’t afford the fees to get their kids out there on the field or on the court.
Natalie and Danielle talk about some of these misconceptions and what EKS does to help bridge the gap. They talk about how they work with high level athletes to promote their mission and Natalie gives advice to athletes who want to use their platform to make a difference in the community. If you would like to learn more about Every Kid Sports, check out their website here!
In Episode 2, Danielle sits down with WNBA Champion and social justice warrior Renee Montgomery. Renee plays for the Atlanta Dream but is currently sitting out this season in the wubble to protest the systemic racism in our country and raise important awareness for the social justice movement.
Renee created Moments Equal Momentum, a platform to assist, advocate and educate on important issues. She has launched Remember The 3rd to connect people and politics and encourage people to educate themselves before going to the polls. She is involved in The Last Yard, raising funding for Morris Brown College, a HBCU. She’s involved with the More Than A Vote campaign started by fellow basketball player LeBron James and she is using her platform and presence in national media to assist and educate on causes she is passionate about. Click here to check out her website and find more information about the amazing work she is doing!
Danielle and Renee chat about what it’s been like to be a spectator of sports this season, her goals for her activism, and why athletes have such a presence and power to inspire and influence change. Renee also talks about the importance of having a team of people to help you accomplish your goals.
In the first episode of season 2, Danielle sits down with Marcus Alston, the Founder of Alston for Athletes. Alston for Athletes helps to provide a better foundation of Physical, Mental, and Emotional Wellness for the future generations of Athletes through Sports Mentoring. Marcus chats with us about his struggles with mental health and offers advice to athletes who may be struggling to - don’t go through it alone! We also chat about his love for football and how sports helped him find purpose and has helped him grow Alston for Athletes. Marcus is such a strong person and speaks out so eloquently about his own struggles, it’s hard not to admire him for all the great work that he does. If you would like to see more about Alston for Athletes, check out their website for more info! Also, be sure to follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, please visit helpwhenyouneedit.org or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Bryce Weiler is Co-Founder of the Beautiful Lives Project and a Disability Consultant for the Baltimore Orioles. Being blind himself, Weiler advocates for those with disabilities and accessibility to activities and experiences in sports and the arts. Through the Beautiful Lives Project, Weiler and his team work with sports organizations like the New Briton Bees and university dance and cheerleading programs to give those with disabilities and special needs experiences to which they may not otherwise have access. To learn more about the Beautiful Lives Project and how to get involved, visit their website here. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can follow Bryce on Twitter here and LinkedIn here.
Danielle spoke with Amy Kingman, the Executive Director of the Learning by Giving Foundation, in February of 2019 about the great work that the organization is doing to inspire a new generation of effective philanthropists. From courses in colleges and universities around the country, to innovative partnerships with sports teams, stadiums and athletes, the organization is passionate about the power of sports to make a difference in the nonprofit world.
To learn more about the Learning by Giving Foundation and how to get involved, visit their website at www.learningbygivingfoundation.org. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To read the Tackle What Matters article that complements this podcast interview, click here.
Chris Dickerson is an MLB alum who played for the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, the Cleveland Indians and the Baltimore Orioles. He chose not to enter the MLB right away when he was drafted out of high school and instead played baseball for the University of Nevada while getting his college degree. In 2007, prior to joining the major leagues, Chris co-founded Players for the Planet with fellow player Jack Cassel and since then they’ve brought on dozens of athletes like Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Brent Suter, Giancarlo Stanton, Nelson Cruz, Zach Britton, and Ryan Braun to support the cause.
Danielle and Chris chat about how he got into baseball and why sports has opened up so many doors for him. Chris shares why raising awareness for and protecting the environment is such an important part of his life. They discuss what it was like to start a nonprofit prior to going pro, and how being a pro athlete became an asset to the organization and his mission. Chris shares how his dad was a big motivator for him to stay active and aware about helping the environment, and what Players for the Planet is doing to raise awareness all over the country and internationally in areas like the Dominican Republic.
To learn more about Players for the Planet and how you can get involved with your community, visit http://playersfortheplanet.org/ and be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can follow Chris on Twitter and Instagram.
Wes Martin is a rookie offensive lineman for the Washington Redskins. Born and raised in West Milton, Ohio, he played football for Indiana University and was named honorable mention All-Big Ten in his redshirt junior and senior seasons. He was drafted to the Redskins in the 4th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Wes founded Brave Breed Rescue, Inc. while he was in his senior year of college. Brave Breed is located in West Milton and is a 501c3 dedicated to rescuing and re-homing all dog breeds that enter their care.
Wes and Danielle chat about the transition from college athlete to professional, the challenges of starting a nonprofit organization AND balancing that with playing football at a high level. He chats about how important his mom has been throughout his life and what it's like working with her at the organization. Wes shares the inspiration behind why he started Brave Breed and why he's motivated to help dogs find forever homes. He also speaks about the importance of fostering to save dogs currently in shelters waiting to be adopted.
To learn more about Brave Breed Rescue, visit www.bravebreed.org and be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can follow Wes on Twitter and Instagram.
John Register is an inspirational speaker, trainer and coach, who commands his listeners attention on the topic "Hurdling Adversity". John is an avid athlete and played baseball, track and field and more as a kid. He ran Track and Field at the University of Arkansas, and originally majored in music, the cello specifically, before switching over to communications to focus his time on sports. He qualified for the Olympic Trials twice. He served in the US Army and participated in Desert Storm and Desert Shield.
Unfortunately in 1994, John suffered a life changing knee injury when practicing on the hurdles and ended up getting the leg amputated. He didn't let that injury stop him. He climbed his way back into sports, practicing and training for the Paralympic Games. In 2000, he won the silver medal in the Long Jump at the Paralympic Games. Alongside his sports activities, John spearheaded the US Army's World Class Athlete Program. He worked for the USOC until earlier this year and launched the USOC Paralympic Military Program, which uses sports to assist in the recovery of wounded, ill or injured service members.
John and Danielle discuss what made him choose track and field (because no one naturally enjoys running, right?), what it was like going through the Army and how he transformed his life in such a positive way after his injury. He talks about why sport is such a powerful tool and a universal language to encourage dialogues both big and small.
John now travels the country to share his insight on the topic "Hurdling Adversity" and helps people understand what's holding them back from who they are trying to become. He is the facilitator of the brilliance in the room! His latest Ted Talk, called "Live Beyond Tolerance", at TEDx Colorado Springs will be released soon- to get the link as soon as it drops, you can email John at John@Johnregister.com. You can follow John on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Check out his YouTube Channel to see some of his amazing speeches. Visit www.johnregister.com for more info or to inquire about having John come out and speak to your team!
Dereck Faulkner is a former NFL and CFL player who is now an entrepreneur and Founder of Athletes for Vets. Dereck went to Hampton University and got his MBA from George Washington University. He works to unite, support, advocate for and help the heroes that defend our nation's freedom. Danielle and Dereck chat about what life was like growing up in a military family, his later than usual start to football, the inspiration behind Athletes for Vets and how his MBA program pushed him to launch the vision for Athletes for Vets. We also learn how Athletes for Vets supports veterans and military organizations, some of the challenges Dereck faces when working to fundraise and create awareness, and so much more. Dereck is passionate about athletes giving back in any way that makes sense for them, and considers it their duty. Be sure to follow Dereck on Instagram @dereckfaulkner and Twitter @DereckFaulkner and follow Athletes for Vets on Twitter: @athletesforvets, Instagram: @athletesforvets, and visit their website: https://www.athletesforvets.org to learn more about how you can support their work.
Haron Hargrave is a former basketball player and point guard who played for Sacramento State and went on to play for Mediaş in the top league in Romania. Today, Haron is a community activist, working to bridge the gap between law enforcement and communities through Ballin' 4 Peace. Danielle and Haron chat about how Haron got into basketball, the inspiration behind Ballin' 4 Peace, and what motivates him to keep growing that movement every day. Along the way, we learn the impact that Haron's mother had on his life, why sport is such a powerful tool for social change and how athletes can create impact in communities like no one else. Be sure to follow Haron on Instagram @h2O5 and follow Ballin' for Peace on Twitter: @ballin4peace and Instagram: @Ballin4Peace, and visit their website: https://ballin4peace.org/ to learn more about how you can support their incredible movement.
We’re thrilled to bring you the Big League Philanthropist podcast! We focus on athletes doing amazing things in the community. Whether they have started their own nonprofits or are partnering with nonprofits to make a difference, we’ll share their stories here. Follow us on Twitter @bigleaguephil and on instagram @bigleaguephilanthropist. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.