New Voices Under 30: What cause or charity do you volunteer with or actively support?
Hilary Ash: I support a number of suicide prevention centers in Los Angeles. Mental health services are critically important yet dramatically underfunded. Today, the lack of accessible services is a critical public health crisis that must be addressed, ensuring that everyone has a safe place to seek help.
Samantha Barkowski: The Sports Museum, a local nonprofit that offers educational programs and uses sports to teach the values of leadership, respect, and cooperation to youth in Boston.
Octavia Chambers: I am very passionate about a program that I helped found and currently lead called Miss Juneteenth Oregon. [It] provides education, tools and resources to help youth build resilience, gain confidence and make positive life choices. We aim to empower black and brown youth in Oregon and southwest Washington through mentorship, workshops, social and emotional learning programs, volunteering and field trips.
Phil de Winter: A few years ago, I spent some time volunteering in Kenya with an organization called Action For Children In Conflict. We were assisting children who had come from broken homes and were in the process of being rehabilitated so that they could lead as normal of lives as possible. Upon returning from the trip, we threw a fundraiser party that raised a significant amount of money to partially fund a new school for the organization.
Tanya Downey: I actively support NYC Pride and am on the Pride Committee at MLS. I also support RAICES Texas, which is a nonprofit refugee and immigrant center for education and legal services. One cause I’m focused on this year is helping to diversify the sports industry by creating resources to help members of the LatinX in Sports community educate underprivileged areas about opportunities in our field with our @latinxinsports Instagram page.
Kevin Esteves: In addition to actively participating in NBA Cares volunteer service projects throughout the year, I also actively support Full Court Peace, which is an organization that uses basketball as a platform to connect the have and have-not communities of the United States. Through court refurbishments and the development of new basketball teams and leagues, Full Court Peace is getting young children to work and play together across community lines to support the growth of basketball and bridge divides.
Leslie Evans: Special Olympics Southern California. I worked on the organizing committee for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles and have stayed close since then.
Bradley Fain: Causes relating to helping youth and animals, primarily dogs, mean the most to me. During my time in Jacksonville I served as a Big Brother for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida. I had the privilege to be named Jacksonville’s Finest by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and aided in raising funds to find a cure for the disease.
Alessandro Gasparro: The ACLU.
Emily Hejlik: Darkness to Light, the nation’s leading advocate for the prevention of child sexual abuse. Client and ambassador for change, Aly Raisman, shared her story of survival and partnered with Darkness to Light to provide immediate support to the gymnastics community and free access to sexual abuse prevention training through her #FlipTheSwitch initiative. By working with Darkness to Light, I’ve learned that sexual abuse is a global epidemic and the responsibility that we, as adults, have to help prevent it.
Ian Hillman: Alex’s Lemonade Stand (pediatric cancer research).
Claire Kaido: Save the Children.
Sarah Kettler: I grew up going to and playing sports at the Boys & Girls Club; it gave me friendships, life lessons, and mediocre basketball skills. Over the years, I’ve coached teams, refereed second grade “basketball,” and more. With work and travel being what it is, now my support comes in the monetary form, but overall I believe deeply in programs like the Boys & Girls Club that provide an awesome community for kids.
Marc Kulbersh: Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Keri Lenker: The NBA Women’s Network, which has allowed me give back to women in the community as well as internally at the NBA.
Marie Margolius: Coaches Across Continents is an organization I’ve been involved in since I was an undergrad, first volunteering on the field in Haiti and Mexico, and now in an off-the-field capacity. CAC uses soccer as a tool for social impact in underdeveloped communities and teaches important skills around topics like female empowerment, peaceful conflict resolution, and health and wellness.
Christina Milano: I am a founder of and current board member for Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ New York City chapter.
Ashton Mullinix: Playworks is a Detroit Lions Charities partner organization that helps schools create a structured recess for children to experience the social, emotional, and physical benefits of play. I believe very much in their mission and the work that they are doing in the Detroit community.
Sebastian Park: Electronic Frontier Foundation. I’m a big believer in net neutrality and the extension of protections of our freedoms throughout the internet.
Alex Parker: The Dolphins Cancer Challenge with 100% of funds raised going to cancer research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. I began as an intern for this event and have grown into a participant and donor.
Kirby Porter: I’m on the junior board for New Heights Youth Inc., a nonprofit, sports-based youth development and education organization based in New York City. Their dedication to leveraging basketball as a platform to educate and empower youth is a mission that I deeply resonate with from my personal journey to my passion points today.
Megan Rand: Populous is a proud supporter of Lead to Read/Turn the Page KC, an organization that pairs professionals with local elementary students over the lunch hour to focus on improving literacy. I’ve been a reading mentor for four years now and it’s very fulfilling to work with the students and see them improve. The Kansas City Urban Youth Academy is another local organization that I’m very fond of as it allows local, underserved youth the opportunity to learn baseball and softball skills as well as other academic and social opportunities.
Matt Samost: The TBSE organization has a wonderful commitment to giving back to our community; each employee participates in opportunities throughout the year and has a goal of contributing 40-plus hours of service throughout the community.
Kerry Scalora: No More. It’s a charity to help end domestic violence.
Buster Scher: I love helping a ton of different charities in one-offs when my friends get involved in different ones. Helping them when they’re passionate and helping the causes they and I are into. I have helped Sheck Wes (rapper) and two of his charitable projects.
Tal Shachar: Best Buddies.
Brandon Sosna: Donations to the University of Cincinnati Athletics Scholarship Fund.
Nick Thimm: The ASPCA. My fiancé and I rescued our dog Bode this past April and have remained involved in supporting the organization ever since.
Zack Weiner: I am on the junior board of Chess in the Schools, a nonprofit that fosters intellectual and social development of low-income youth through chess. I was lucky enough to be a student in the program when I was younger.
Krista Whitaker: I am actively involved with Legal Outreach, a nonprofit college prep and legal education organization for middle and high school students from underserved communities in New York City. I am also a volunteer mentor for Read Ahead, a nonprofit organization devoted to children’s literacy in the New York area.