A nonprofit founded by a group of professional athletes, including Tony Hawk, Muhammad Ali, Andre Agassi, and Mia Hamm, Athletes for Hope assists athletes in carrying out their charitable activities and connecting with community and charitable organizations. While helping professional athletes to determine the most effective ways to give back to their communities, the organization promotes philanthropy across the sports industry as a whole.
Each September, Athletes for Hope honors the memory of September 11, 2001, with its annual 9-11 week of service. In 2014, NBA athlete Kyrie Irving, a point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers, celebrated the initiative with a surprise visit to Beech Brook, a Cleveland social services and behavioral health agency. Facilitating services such as foster care, counseling, and family health care, the charity annually assists more than 22,000 local children and families.
Irving surprised and delighted children with his unexpected entrance into a Beech Brook classroom, where he answered several questions from young fans. Afterward, he joined the students to play and take photographs on the basketball court. The Cavalier also attended the Beech Brook fashion show, where he shared insight into his own personal influences and journey to success, in addition to meeting, taking pictures with, and signing autographs for several more Beech Brook families and kids.