Living By Giving: The Sport of Giving Back
April is often rated the best month for sports. Best or not, it certainly is one of the busiest. From college basketball’s Final Four to professional golf’s Masters Tournament to Major League Baseball’s opening day, sports fan have the best weeks ahead this month.
I’m here to say to those fanatics, it’s not all about watching. Sports are some of the biggest philanthropic activities that exist in our communities. From running a race to rooting on your favorite team, sports is a great way to give back. Here are a few ways you can use your affinity for athletics to help others in the community.
Today, rarely do you see a sport competition that is offered in our community that doesn’t have a charitable aspect to it. From a 5K road race to golf, there is a full spectrum of activity waiting for you to sign-up to participate and donate. I’m already signed up for three this month. To register for an event or find tools to fundraise for your recreational activities, visit ActiveGiving.com.
If a sideline approach is more your style, I encourage you to think about becoming a coach at a local YMCA. With summer programs being finalized, there are many youth organizations that are looking for volunteers for coaches in all sports including baseball and swimming. You don’t just have to watch the medal ceremonies this summer on television; you can be a part of one right here in Atlanta. For coaching opportunities check out Metro Atlanta YMCA’s website at YMCAatlanta.org.
Although our favorite teams aren’t on the court all year long, often their community outreach is. A lot of coaches and athletes from Atlanta’s own professional teams spend time in their respective off-seasons volunteering and contributing to projects in our schools and youth organizations.
In 2011, the Atlanta Hawk’s Foundation contributed $50,000 to Georgia State University for a scholarship program to support incoming first-year students. You can support these Foundations just by being a fan, by making a financial contribution or by attending one of their special events such as the Atlanta Hawk’s Foundation Casino night in April. For more information on these Foundations, visit the community section of your favorite team’s website:
Playing sports, exercise and volunteering are all things that elevate serotonin levels in your bodies, which puts you in a good mood. Imagine combining the two together! It’s a recipe for great happiness.
For more about Kate Atwood, visit www.kateatwood.com.