The season of giving thanks is here and one thing we are grateful for are the Harlem Globetrotters. Not only do they bring wholesome family entertainment to Austin every year, they also spread their goodwill and charitable spirit throughout the world. They were recognized as “America’s Ambassadors of Goodwill” by President Gerald Ford in 1974 and were inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in 2003. Here are just a few examples of the Globetrotters’ philanthropic endeavors.
1.) The team served as official “Goodwill Ambassadors” at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York.
2.) While celebrating their 70th anniversary in June 1996, the Globetrotters became history’s first professional basketball squad to play in a free democratic South Africa. Clinics and charity games attracted thousands, and over a million dollars was donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
3.) In 1999, the team played during a tornado in Little Rock, AR, and donated proceeds from the game to tornado victims. That same year the “Harlem Globetrotters International Foundation” charity was created to promote and advocate globally for human spirit, health and education.
4.) Every year, the Harlem Globetrotters visit over 200 children’s hospitals as a part of their hospital community outreach program, Smile Patrol™. This initiative was designed to help brighten the day and lift the spirits of some very special fans unable to attend a Globetrotters game. We’ve seen this first hand at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, and the children love spending time with the team, witnessing their amazing ball handling skills and taking pictures with the players.
5.) The Harlem Globetrotters are debuting a new community outreach program, “The ABCs of Bullying Prevention” with help from the National Campaign to Stop Violence (NCSV). This program targets 6-12 year-olds and focuses on Action, Bravery and Compassion. During a school visit, the Globetrotters explain what it means to be a part of team and how kids can offer support to one another to help stop bullying. To request a Globetrotter at your school, administrators, teachers and principals can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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