Athletes Giving Back During The Coronavirus Epidemic
We are all in this together. Across the globe, we are all struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic. Amidst this crisis, the panic level is high and the fear of the coronavirus has health officials advising us to practice “social distancing” and take extra steps to protect our health and the health of our loved ones. Our life as we know it has temporarily been shut down. Schools have closed, restaurants are closed, TV and movie productions have halted, sports are shut down, and personal gatherings have been postponed.
Thankfully, the pandemic has not stopped kindness and generosity. Many athletes are giving back to their communities with big donations, or performing smaller random acts of kindness to help the sick, poor or those out of jobs. As the Coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world leaving many of us feeling anxious and fearful, some female sports stars are giving back hoping to ease the pain and give us hope that we will overcome it.
Chicago Red Stars defender and USWNT star, Julie Ertz, is donating a sum of
$100,000 from The Ertz Family Foundation to Philadelphia-based food bank, Philabundance. Philabunance provides, on average, 90,000 meals per week. Many families are out of work and unable to provide food for their families. Ertz, along with her husband, Zach, are urging others to donate, explaining that just $15 can provide a “one shelf-stable box of four meals for a family of four.”
America’s most decorated gymnast has teamed up with Athletes Relief to help raise money for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Covid-19 response fund. She, along with other athletes such as Rose Lavelle, Elena Delle Donne, and Jennie Finch, are donating a signed item to be auctioned off. Biles donated a signed leotard, which is targeted to raise $25K. Every $25 donated equals one entry to win the signed leotard. The response fund will be used to support healthcare professionals and those directly affected by Coronavirus.
Orlando Pride’s strength and conditioning coach has been leading free group workout routines for her neighbors. Vidoes, posted on Casagrande’s Twitter, shows the NWSL coach directing full workout sessions as her fans follow along on their balconies.
The Orlando Pride coach tweeted alongside her video, “For my own sanity, being able to coach, give back to the community and stay active and healthy. We shall get through this together!”
Chicago Red Stars player, Kealia Ohai, is giving back to her community. Ohai, and her husband and NFL star, JJ Watt, donated $350,000 to the Houston Food Bank. Their contribution will provide over one million meals for those struggling to afford food in the Houston area during the pandemic.
The German tennis player started an Instagram book club for those isolated at home, the Racquet Book Club. Her first pick was a tennis title, “String Theory,” but she wants to “make sure this club is inclusive,” and has shared three non-tennis titles by women. Petkovic hopes to keep everyone connected and help people fill the extra time now that we aren’t commuting and socializing as before. Her book club already has just under four thousand followers so many must agree.
The American tennis player and Grand Slam finalist was inspired by all the acts of kindness she has seen on social media. She teamed up with @KindnessWinsFnd to give away 20 $100 Visa cards and auctioned off some items for #KindnessInCrisis. 100% of the proceeds go to Covid-19 relief organizations. Keys has been committed to creating a kinder world and launched her Kindness Wins initiative in early 2020.
“Spreading kindness is and always will be my passion,” Keys said in a statement.
The track athlete and Olympic hopeful’s act of kindness went viral and led to interviews on CNN and Fox News. After practice, she went to the grocery store and ran into a fearful elderly couple who didn’t want to enter, fully knowing that the coronavirus disproportionately affected older people. She asked if she could help and they gave her $100 and a grocery list. She went in, bought the groceries, put them in their trunk, and gave them their change. The couple’s fear forced her to realize that there are people for whom this situation is more dire than it is for her.
The WTA’s youngest player ranked in the Top 100 (as of March 2020) had her 16th birthday on March 13th. For her birthday, she held a fundraiser to support UNICEF’s COVID-19 response. She stated, “UNICEF has been working closely with governments and partners in their global efforts, providing communication, supplies, healthcare, education and more. They’re on the front lines of this fight against the pandemic, and it would mean so much to me if you could donate.”
The Australia women’s national rugby league player and gym owner tweeted that she had been forced to close her gym by the government. Despite revenue loss, Bremner tweeted that all of her clients can take her gym equipment home for as long as the government forced her gym closed, encouraging her members to continue to exercise safely outside whilst continuing to social distance. She said, “Today I have had to close my gym, but my work is not done. My clients’ happiness & health is still of great importance to me!”
We are grateful to these athletes for giving back, whether big or small. No act is too small when the world is facing a crisis such as this. What may seem small to you, might be of great help to someone else. These acts of kindness and generosity display that despite an apocalyptic scene, we can make a positive impact and give back to those in need.