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What cause or charity do you volunteer with or actively support?

Ash Ainbinder: Animal Haven (animal shelter in NYC). Visits have been limited with COVID, but donations and sharing stories about animals ready for their “fur-ever” home.

 

Lonnie Anthony: Drew’s Movement. This charity focuses on mental health and suicide awareness/prevention. I have donated to this charity and attended their events in the past with my clients.

Matt Aronson: Rare cancer research via Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Cycle for Survival events.

Dori Atkins: The ETC 34s Inc. Many of my colleagues likely do not know this, but in my spare time I manage the marketing, communications, digital/social, pretty much everything external facing for a 501(c)(3) that my dad started in 2016. Our mission is to make lacrosse more accessible to kids who, based on their race or socioeconomic circumstance, have traditionally been underrepresented in the sport. Our first team started with third and fourth graders, all of whom had never played lacrosse before, and those kids are now eighth and ninth graders who, in addition to our ETC team, are playing for their high school teams and multiple club teams. The majority of them will be serious contenders for college scholarships, which, if you saw where they started on their first day of practice five years ago, is pretty incredible. If you’d like to learn more, our website is www.34slacrosse.com.

Justin Casey: Children International. I have sponsored a young boy named Carlos Jesus Ramos from the Dominican Republic for two years. While I haven’t gotten to meet Carlos personally, he and his mother have written me multiple letters. Per the last update from Momma Ramos, Carlos loves going out for ice cream and playing baseball — we are kindred spirits.

Jay Croucher: All Together Now (an Australian not-for-profit organization that promotes racial equality) — supported by speaking on racism in Australian sport.

Brianna Dawson: Mental and emotional health, wellness and awareness are causes that strongly resonate with me personally and that I actively support.

Kati Fernandez: My family and I run a nonprofit in the Dominican Republic called Lazos Al Futuro, which translates to Tides to the Future. This year our organization enrolled 30 incoming high school youth members in the Dominican Republic and we are committed to mentoring and sponsoring their growth and education for the next four years. Our goal is simple: Improve the graduation rates across high school and college in order to build the leaders of tomorrow. Our organization currently has two running offices in Santiago and Luperon, Puerto Plata, in the Dominican Republic, and volunteer staff in the U.S and the D.R.

Rebecca Friedman: I foster dogs who are waiting to be adopted from shelters or foster networks in NYC.

Abbie Giffin: Girl and women career advancement/support companies. I support by educating myself on the issues and participating in women in sports conferences.

Alexia Grevious: I actively support homeless shelters in Los Angeles, primarily the Midnight Mission, through monetary and clothing donations. Homelessness is a huge problem in Los Angeles that I see every single day. I’m drawn to the Midnight Mission because they are open 24 hours and support families, including children. While donating money is helpful for them to continue their great work, I know that gently used clothing and large shoes for tall men and women are scarce, so I make sure my fiancé and I are constantly donating clothing and shoes to support those families. I’m always open to new causes to support.

Isaac Halyard: I work with a Harlem-based nonprofit football club called FC Harlem, which provides athletic and academic resources to underserved Black and brown communities in New York via participation in club soccer. FC Harlem fields a competitive club soccer team for high schoolers that would not otherwise be able to compete in expensive traveling teams or tournaments. Through my work at RedBird analyzing over 100 European football clubs as potential investment opportunities (which has culminated in our investments in Toulouse FC and Liverpool FC via Fenway), I’ve had the benefit of learning a great deal about the operations of European football clubs. I work closely with FC Harlem Director Irv Smalls on a variety of activities ranging from the budgeting to the strategic goals of the athletic, academic and nonprofit programs. Having the opportunity to share some of the knowledge I’ve gained through RedBird with a platform and cause that means a great deal to me is a true privilege.

Kelly Hogan: I serve as a mentor for students and young alumni from my high school, Seton Hall Prep, who have questions or are just generally curious about life and/or a career in sports.

Matt Japko: Climate change and deforestation. I donate to Southern and Eastern African conservation-focused charities.

Ami Kumar: I constantly look for ways to support women in technology, whether by running I&D workshops at work or participating in women’s tech talks outside the company. I look for ways I can sponsor women I work with as well.

Tatiana Lampley: I’ve been volunteering with New Name since summer 2018. New Name is an organization in the Chicago area dedicated to helping trafficked victims in the area. I assist at the New Name Bridal Boutique, where we sell new to gently used bridal gowns and accessories. All proceeds from the boutique go to helping trafficked and exploited victims. We help victims fly to safe homes, buy cars, pay for tuition, pay for rides to interviews and much more.

Matthew Levin: I give back to my alma maters, Boston University and RZJHS, that have provided me with a strong educational foundation, by donating annually and meeting with students interested in careers in the sport industry. I also guest lecture in BU finance and sports management courses. In addition, I provide volunteer tax filing assistance to a small nonprofit.

Kat Marquez: Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative brings sports programs to underserved youth.

Oliver Marvin: I support the American Heart Association and Partnership to End Addiction through fundraising walks and runs. We lose too many loved ones too soon from these diseases. I’m hopeful our generation and these charities can change that narrative.

Paul Mascali: ACLU, where I contribute on a monthly basis.

Riley Meek: Food insecurity has been an issue that has concerned me since college. I had a school project that centered around designing a system to address this issue in southeast Raleigh, N.C., which is a “food desert.” Food deserts are areas where people have limited access to healthy foods due to having a limited income or living far away from sources of healthy and affordable food. That really opened my eyes — we interviewed people in the area and a divide was clear. In addition, my parents both teach in public schools, and during the pandemic these issues surfaced in a big way. Free breakfast and lunch in school are the only meals a lot of kids get in a day, so when that got taken away, there was a lot of problem-solving that needed to happen. What bothers me most is the perception. People act like it’s the parents’ fault, that they can’t take care of their kids. But it’s so much more complicated than that. If a household doesn’t have a car and there isn’t a grocery store within walking distance or on a public transit route, then having a stocked fridge becomes very difficult. But people that can easily drive to the store every week and buy whatever they want don’t think about these things.

Katrina Palanca: In the past two years, I have been focused on conscious consumerism. We collectively hold so much power in deciding where to spend our dollars. I am not perfect, but I make an active effort to support minority-owned businesses. By striving to be a more conscious consumer, I am trying to have my support be less milestone, more muscle memory.

David Picioski: I’m passionate about mentorship. I actively work with college students and young professionals who want to learn about the industry. I have collaborated with organizations like the Strive Mentorship Program, which prioritizes HBCU students, and many others to provide formal mentorship experiences.

Eric Robinson: When I started my career at the New York Mets, I was introduced to Ronald McDonald House Charities as a community partner of the team. After leaving the Mets, my family and I have continued to volunteer by cooking meals for families and children living in Ronald McDonald House, which provides a supportive community where families can live temporarily during intensive medical treatment while away from their homes.

Grace Senko: I support Block Cancer / Swim Across America. Swim Across America is a nonprofit dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention, and treatment by hosting charity swims. I have participated in several Swim Across America events over the years, and most recently supported my friend Elizabeth Beisel’s “Block Cancer” charity swim in honor of her late father, Ted Beisel. She became the first woman to swim from mainland Rhode Island to Block Island, a 10.4 mile swim, and raised $135,000+ for Swim Across America in the process!

Sammy Smith: I’m a big believer in mutual aid, so twice a month I donate to mutual aid networks in various communities where I’ve lived, including Bronzeville Kenwood Mutual Aid in Chicago and Bushwick Ayuda Mutua in Brooklyn.

Carly Townsend: Not exactly a charity/cause per se, but I am a high school field hockey coach. I started in the 2020 season, with having more time out of the office. Now as the field hockey and NFL seasons overlap, it’s remained a priority of mine. I spend 2-3 hours a day after work teaching the girls not only about the game, but about the values sports can teach them and the character they can build by being a part of something bigger than themselves.

Dominic Williams: Three Square Las Vegas. I’ve donated my time at the food bank to pack meals that will be delivered to children. I’ve worked with my team to utilize MGM Resorts’ partnerships to create events that pass out food to families in need, and utilize any revenue driven by these events to donate to Three Square.

Scott Zanghellini: Project ALS is a special cause for me. During my time on the Gettysburg baseball team, I helped launch the team’s “Take ALS Yard” fundraiser event, which raised more than $100,000 since its inception. The funds support Project ALS medical research for ALS in memory of Tom Kirchhoff and Robert Borman, two former Gettysburg baseball players who lost their fight to ALS.

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