If you are a tennis player or the parent of a tennis player, you are lucky. You or your children have been given the opportunity to do something fun — something that takes money and time, two luxuries that not everyone has. While you may be struggling on the tennis court to move your feet, those around you may be struggling to get on their feet — in their classrooms and in their neighborhoods. That’s why several former professional tennis players have started charity foundations across the United States, and perhaps in your community, to help give children the opportunities they deserve. If you’re a member of our MyTennisLessons community in Las Vegas, NV; Austin, TX; Vero Beach, FL; Jacksonville, FL; or Lansing, MI; we encourage you to volunteer with these charities.
Home Base: Las Vegas, NV
Mission: The foundation aims to transform education for disadvantaged youth across the United States by opening charter schools and supporting public policy that aligns with this mission. In 2001, the foundation opened Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy to provide children of low socioeconomic status an educational environment that promotes aspirations to attend college.
Fundraising Event: Grand Slam for Children was held for 16 years until 2012, when the foundation shifted its effort to growing the student population at Agassi Prep.
How to Help: In addition to donating, you can sponsor a student at Agassi Prep. Your monetary gift will be matched to help provide educational programming for one child.
Home Base: Austin, TX
Mission: The nonprofit focuses its attention to positively impacting disadvantaged children during the times that they are not in school, when they are at risk for losing academic skills, being a victim of crime, and not being physically active. The foundation’s goal is to transform after-school hours and summertime into an enriching opportunity for children through programs based on learning and physical activity.
Fundraising Event: The ninth annual Andy Roddick Foundation Gala was held Oct. 17, 2014.
How to Help: You can donate or volunteer during the foundation’s summer learning program.
Home Base: Vero Beach, FL
Mission: The organization provides after-school programs that promote health and fitness so that children can lead productive lives. The foundation’s Achievable Dreams program provides 13 elementary schools with after-school activities, including dance, drama and music. The Kids on Court program provides area children with after-school tennis, club tennis, summer camps, match play, free clinics and youth mixers.
How to Help: Besides donors, the foundation is always looking for volunteers to assist with improving existing programs and creating new ones as well as organizing fundraising events.
Home Base: Jacksonville, FL
Mission: The nonprofit hopes to develop children of lower income neighborhoods into high achievers in the classroom and on the tennis court. In 2008, the foundation opened a youth center, which includes four classrooms, a computer lab, a library, a fitness room and eight lighted tennis courts. There, kids are given the tools for success through the TnT after-school program, which offers elementary children academic tutoring, tennis and fitness classes, and life skills classes. Field trips and outreach programs are offered to children of all ages, and parents are also required to participate in community outreach and educational family nights.
Fundraising Event: Champions for Children Gala will be held Nov. 6, 2014.
How to Help: Other than donating, you can mentor and tutor students, be a summer camp counselor, serve as a tennis coach or join the gala committee.
Home Base: Lansing, MI
Mission: The organization has several programs designed to help children succeed in school and as tennis players. Summer and after-school programs are offered to teach tennis to young children and develop skills among older, competitive players in addition to providing homework help and life skills classes. Many children who participate in the organization’s programs have gone on to attend college on academic or tennis scholarships.
Fundraising Event: “Got Game?” Event will be held Nov. 15, 2014.
How to Help: Donate as a corporation or individual, or volunteer for special events, tennis instruction, and tutoring.