10 Totally Worthy Holiday Charity Efforts by Pro Athletes

Want to give back this season? These pro athletes charitable efforts will give you many ways to make a difference.

Professional athletes do great things during games, but some do even more impressive work when they're off the field. Countless athletes spend time outside of sports contributing to charitable organizations, and many have established their own foundations. With the holiday season upon us, we call attention to 10 athletes who have made efforts within the last month to help those in need. Read on, admire, and if you can, get involved.

Victor Cruz's Toy Drive

With drop-off locations in New Jersey, the Sneaker Room and Cruz's Foundation will be collecting brand new, unwrapped toys to donate to families with kids in need. Don't live in the New Jersey Area? To make sure all kids get something under the tree this year, check out Toys for Tots for local drop-off locations.
Cruz's foundation works to advance STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), also focusing on teaching children commitment, leadership skills and perseverance.

Ronda Rousey's #Unselfie Campaign

The UFC Bantamweight champ's "unselfie" movement encourages people to make contributions to any of Rousey's favorite charities, including the World Food Program USA; UNCHAINED, an organization that aims to mobilize the movement against sexual exploitation of girls and women in the U.S.; and Gomper's Judo, Rousey's own program, which teaches Judo to inner city kids. At GivingTuesday.org, you can also pick from a variety of local efforts across the country.

Russell Wilson and Strong Against Cancer 

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback makes frequent visits to the Seattle Children's Hospital and serves as an ambassador for Strong Against Cancer, which offers a new immunotherapy treatment for kids with cancer. According to the website, immunology us "cellular engineering [that enables] the body's own immune system to heal itself—without the harsh and often lifelong side effects of chemotherapy and radiation." And that's not the end of Wilson's charitable work. His Why Not You Foundation has a "Pass the Peace" initiative focused on the fight to end domestic violence.

Geno Smith at the New York Cares Coat Drive  

One thing that's going right for the New York Jets this season is quarterback Geno Smith's efforts with the New York Cares coat drive. Under Armour and NY20 water were also on the scene to donate goods. Donate an old coat to someone who needs it more than you by finding a convenient drop-off location, donating cash online toward the cause, or buying a new coat via Amazon and shipping it straight to their coat drive warehouse.

Chris Paul's Shout Out to the Holly Rod Foundation

Clippers point guard Chris Paul, via Twitter, recently advocated support of the Holly Rod Foundation, founded by actress Holly Robinson and retired NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, which provides "medical, physical and emotional support" to those suffering from Parkinson's Disease and to families with autistic children. In addition, Paul's CP3 Foundation aims to enhance and "promote [community] education, health, sports and social responsibility for youth and families."

Al Horford Gives to the Alliance For A Healthier Generation

The Atlanta Hawks forward recently visited Langston Hughes High School in Fairburn, Georgia, to see the result of his investment in Alliance For A Healthier Generation (AHG), an organization whose mission is to reduce childhood obesity by working with schools, community organizations, professionals and families to create healthier environments.

Carmelo Anthony Helps Feed the Children 

Along with other New York Knicks teammates, Anthony recently helped Feed the Children provide food and essentials for over 800 families in Harlem. Feed the Children "exists to end childhood hunger" all over the world. On a similar note, the mission of the Carmelo Anthony Foundation is to "positively impact the lives of those living in under-served communities through…education, recreation and community outreach."

Jordan Babineaux Supports Sisters Against Lupus

Former NFL safety Jordan Babineaux is supporting Sisters Against Lupus, dedicated to promoting awareness and raising funds to find a cure for lupus, an inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects mostly women, in which the immune system attacks the body's own cells, tissues and organs.  Babineaux and his brother Johnathan have also been involved in Meals on Wheels—which provides community-based health initiatives and nutrition plans for seniors.

Larry Fitzgerald Tweets the Starkey Hearing Foundation 

The Cardinals wide receiver recently tweeted an easy way to support the Starkey Hearing Foundation, whose mission is "about bringing understanding between people through caring and sharing." Among their efforts, they provide more than 100,000 hearing aids annually to children and adults. Fitzgerald's hands-on work, his First Down Fund, works "to help kids and their families by funding positive activities for kids… supporting kids and families in crisis, and supporting health-related organizations that work with families."

Clayton Kershaw Travels for CURE 

L.A. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and teammate A.J. Ellis recently visited the Dominican Republic as part of an effort with CURE , a non-profit that assists charitable hospitals and programs for the injured in 30 countries. Kershaw's own organization, Kershaw's Challenge, is a faith-based organization that provides opportunities and relief to underprivileged areas across the world, and empowers people to harness their passions to positively impact their own communities.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

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