2012Dec 27 1:53 pm

    Athletes Who Give Back: Top Charitable Athletes

    By Porter COMMENT
  • Lost in the shuffle of multimillion dollar contracts, lockouts, and other squabbles about money is the fact that there are athletes who take their wealth and give back. Let’s take a look at some of those who, in the spirit of the holiday season, went above and beyond to give back.

    Andre Johnson at Toys R Us

    Andre Johnson — The Texans receiver is well known for hauling in passes but recently made headlines for taking a dozen children between ages eight and 16 to Toys R’ Us. He allowed these children from Child Protective Services in Houston to get as many toys as they could in 80 seconds and then he picked up the tab, which totaled $19,521. He joined the Houston Police Department’s Blue Santa program as well, helping surprise 800 students at Bastian Elementary School in Houston with presents.

    Warrick Dunn — Dunn has two major charities of his own, the Homes for the Holidays program and Warrick Dunn Charities. Homes for the Holidays provides furnishings for a home and down payment assistance for single parent families in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Tallahassee and Tampa. To date, the program has provided help for more than 115 single parent families. Warrick Dunn Charities started Betty’s Hope, in honor of his mother in 2012. Betty’s Hope provides support for children who have lost a parent or loved one with their mobile bereavement program.

    Roberto Clemente — While Clemente hasn’t been active as an athlete since his death in 1972, the works he contributed to better the lives of people live on. Clemente worked constantly to help deliver needed aid and relief to his home country of Puerto Rico. Clemente’s death, on December 31, 1972, came when he was following an earthquake in Nicaragua. Clemente worked to gather food and supplies to deliver. On his way to the disaster stricken country, his plane crashed and his body was never recovered.

    Dikembe Mutombo — Mutombo was awarded the Goodernote Humanitarian Award for his efforts to help reduce polio globally. He also helped build the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in Kinshasa, the capital of the Republic of Congo. Mutombo donated $15 million for the construction of the hospital, the first modern medical facility built in the country in 40 years. The Mutombo Foundation is working with Georgetown University to provide care for visually impaired children from low income families in the Washington D.C. area.

    Tiger Woods — The Tiger Woods Foundation operates the Tiger Woods Learning Center, which provides programs to students who aren’t getting the education necessary to go to college. In addition, Woods started the Earl D. Woods Sr. Scholarship Foundation, which helps students in Orange County and Washington D.C. go to college.

    Eric Lindros — When Lindros retired from the NHL following the 2006-07 season, he donated $5 million to the London Health Sciences Center, where he had several procedures done during his career. Lindros continues to help with fundraising efforts for the London Health Sciences Center and has also been active in building houses for Habitat for Humanity in Canada.

    What other athletes do you see giving back to their communities?


    About the Author

    Porter Olson-- When he’s not on the greens at Coral Canyon, Porter is in the seats at Energy Solutions Arena. If you want to talk golf, the NBA or College Basketball he’s your man.