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Thursday, 02 January 2014 19:33

Happy 2014! A New Year's Message...

Sports and Social Change

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“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”

~ Nelson Mandela, 1918 - 2013

Thank you, Nelson Mandela.
Your actions and words defined the transformative and unifying power of sport, and used it to make changes that protests and diplomacy could not.
Peace be with you.

 

 

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Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:43

#GiveAnAssist on #GivingTuesday - Final Buzzer

#GiveAn#Assist on #GivingTuesday

#GiveAnAssist on #GivingTuesday 2013 is in the books and it was a slam dunk! Over 75 nonprofit sports programs were posting, tweeting and sharing the message of giving back, and many are already reporting big increases in donations and volunteer requests. The entire #GivingTuesday movement of over 10,000 nonprofits, brands and corporate partners was a dominant topic across many social media networks throughout the day.

On to the assists...

 

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"People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses or the problems of modern society." ~ Vince Lombardi

 

Spreading the "Give An Assist" message is another great way to encourage your friends, family and teammates to find a way to give back this holiday season. We've created some cool infographics and photographics that you can share on your social media pages. Go ahead and Tweet them on Twitter, Pin them on Pinterest, Link them on Linkedin, Share them on Facebook and let everyone in your circle know that the holidays are a great time to "Give An Assist!"

 

Click on any of the Infographics and Photos below to get the full size images from our "Give An Assist" Pinterest Gallery

 

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"If you meet Buddha in the lane, feed him the ball." ~ Phil Jackson

 

While we are here to talk about “giving back” during the holidays, we also recognize that a big part of the holidays is giving gifts to the people you care about. And we love gifts too! (just sayin… ;-) So this holiday season, we want to offer you some options to find cool sports gifts that actually do some giving back of their own.

A “Social Enterprise” is loosely defined as “an organization or venture that achieves a primary social or environmental mission using business methods.” So simply stated, these are businesses that sell a product or service with the goal to achieve something socially beneficial, greater than just financial gain. That goal can be anything in the cause space – education, health, environmental protection, poverty alleviation, animal welfare, etc. Some of these companies have a “Buy One / Give One” philosophy, where for every product purchased, they donate one to someone in need.

If you’re searching for the perfect holiday gift for the sports fan on your list, check out some of these Social Enterprises and see how your purchase can make a difference...

Alive & Kicking (Soccer)



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"Create unselfishness as the most important team attribute." ~ Bill Russell

If you're an active runner, walker or cyclist, you've no doubt heard about, or better yet been involved with, fundraising for a cause through a race. This remains one of the most effective fundraising tools for everything ranging from health issues like Cancer, MS and Alzheimer's, to social causes including Homelessness and Education. But did you know that you don't need an upcoming race as a platform for helping a cause you care about?

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"All the successful teams I've ever seen have 3 characteristics: They play unselfish, they play together and they play hard." ~ Larry Brown

 

So maybe money is a little tight and the commitment to coaching or volunteering just doesn't fit into your schedule, but you still want to do something to help. Microvolunteering could be the answer...

 

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"Great players are willing to give up their own personal achievements for the achievements of the group. It enhances everybody."
~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar


For those who want to give their time, there are a host of great ways to get involved with sports programs in your community as a coach or volunteer, even if you can only contribute a few hours a month. Here are some of our favorites...

Coach Across America

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Hey Sports Fans!

An assist is the ultimate unselfish play to help your team.
They can be pretty, they can be gritty.
And when the final buzzer sounds, everyone wins when you Give An Assist.

We've all marveled at a John Stockton no-look, behind the back pass or a Wayne Gretzky feed from behind the net. And now it's your turn...

This holiday season, we're calling on you to "Give An Assist" to those in need. We figured the best way to do that is to provide a little bit of coaching and gameplan. Whatever your favorite sport, team, athlete might be, we've come up with a few suggestions on how you can "Give An Assist" not only during the holidays but also throughout the entire year.

"Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates."
~ Magic Johnson

 

 


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Our good friend Chandrima Chatterjee may not have the goal scoring prowess of Mia Hamm or Alex Morgan, but she just might be the MVP for Women's Soccer around the world. In this post, she brings us some insights and updates from Yuwa, an award winning Women's Soccer program in India plus details on how soccer fans can help support their latest fundraising campaign. You can follow Chandrima on Twitter at @ChandrimaTweets

It Takes a Village… of Yuwa girls
But it takes all of us to help empower them!

From the moment I heard of Yuwa I knew there was a unique magic in it worth promoting. Having worked with numerous global sports outreach groups for five years, and having volunteered with homelessness outreach services in the US since high school, I was eager to see what made Yuwa different.

The story of Yuwa begins with four friends and a shared vision to make a difference in the world. Franz Gastler, Greg Deming, Stephen Peterson, and Erik Odland all graduated from Edina High School in 2000. In 2008, they co-founded a soccer program in the Jharkhand state of India, a place where girls and women lead silent almost invisible lives, giving up their rights to an education and a real future, toiling away in their homes and being married off as children to lessen the burden they are on their families. Jharkhand leads the world in human trafficking (100,000 annually) because often girls see it as their only way out of a pre-determined fate. Today, there are more than 250 girls in the Yuwa program.

"Through team sport, Yuwa provides a platform for young women to gain confidence to make a change in their world." ~ Franz Gastler, Yuwa co-founder, executive director and head coach

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