About Us
What started as a growing concern for the well being of our country's youth and the challenges that affect each child, ended up turning into a life's passion for Don Edwards to "Make A Difference!" Therefore, in 1986, he formed Athletes For Youth. After seven years as Executive Director and with tremendous success on the Athletic programs offered to inner city kids on a Western Regional level, he developed other unique sports programs to help support the Foundation's kids. In 1993, along with 15 NFL Ball Players, both retired and current, Don Edwards established the Foundation for Athletes Helping Kids. In a joint effort to build upon their past success and expand the Foundation's sports programs on a more National level, other more personalized sports/health programs, school assemblies were developed and stronger relationships were built within low to moderate communities and neighborhoods the Foundation serves.

Since Athletes Helping Kid's inception in 1993, the Foundation's NFL Team of Ball Players, current and retired, have visited over 110 High Schools through it's specifically tailored assembly programs. The Foundation's NFL Team speak directly to the kids stressing the abstinence of drugs and alcohol, the dangers of bullying and gang violence, as well as the importance of an education. The open question and answer period after the assembly and directed at the Ball Players has been both up lifting and heart wrenching. Many heart felt stories are shared by the students who participate in these High School Assemblies and have empowered the Foundation's Team to strongly continue these programs in reaching out to our kids. Because of this sort of feedback from the kids, Athletes Helping Kids developed their essay contest. Several subjects are presented to the participating kids at the High Schools. Each grade may participate and pick a subject. Then at the completion of the year, all students present their completed essays and our Foundation's Team along with appointed teachers, pick the winners from each grade. The subjects range from; (1) "What an education means to me?" (2) "What it means to be drug free!" (3) "Peaceful solutions: How do we stop the violence?" (4) "Living Aloha at Castle High School" (5) "What Bullying means to me?" The winners of this very popular program are the happy recipient of the Foundation's sports memorabilia give-a-way package where they actually get to pick what sports items they want. Through the years, 9,600 students have participated with the Foundation's essay program.

Through successful implementation of free, non-contact sports/health football clinics for the kids ages 7 to 18 and substantial fundraising efforts along with charitable contributions, Athletes Helping Kids is making its National effort a realistic goal. To date, Athletes Helping Kids Team has conducted over 90 sports/health clinics free to the kids as well as being able to reach over 107,000 children. Since 1999, the Foundation has been able to take their Team of NFL Ball Players, current and retired, directly to the children who actually live on the Military bases who's Mom's and Dad's are over in Iraq and Afghanistan. In support of these kids, the Foundation has given 10 sports/health clinics with incredible success as well as helping to lift the spirit of these children.

April 11th, 1995, the Foundation met with United States Attorney General Janet Reno. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the Foundation's various programs, as well as programs that were in development. Approximately one week after that visit to Washington, on April 19th, 1995, the Oklahoma City bombing tragically happened. Four days later, Athletes Helping Kids was called from the offices of Victims of Crime in the Justice Department, Washington, DC, and asked to go to Oklahoma and work with the children that were directly or indirectly affected by the bombing. The Foundation quickly put our Team of NFL Ball Players together and was able to bring Troy Aikman, Derrick Thomas, Walter Peyton and other Team players to put on one of the Foundation's most emotional sports clinics for kids to date. Along with working with the children, the Foundation raised $240,000 for the Children's Educational Fund.

In 2004, and in keeping with the Athletes Helping Kids tradition of always looking for new ways to help support the children and help create a safer and more secure neighborhood for them within their own communities, the Foundation partnered with The Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation to embark on one of it's most daring projects to date. Refurbishing of the outdoor Parks and Recreation Center at Nickerson Gardens in the heart of Watts in Los Angeles, California. Our partnership with the Los Angeles Lakers produced three basketball courts with new asphalt and two half basketball courts with all new adjustable back boards, posts and baskets. It was embraced by the City of Los Angeles and both Athletes Helping Kids and the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundations were presented with Proclamations from Council Woman Janice Hahn, amongst other city officials who were there in support of this endeavor. Over 3,500 hot dogs, chips and soda were distributed by donating vendors to the families and kids that day who showed up in support of these two Foundations coming together to "Make A Difference" within their community.

Athletes Helping Kids has supported and partnered with many other non-profits in helping them with their own fundraising endeavors with unique sports memorabilia the Foundation has secured through the years. Along with donating several SUV's for the D.A.R.E. Officers Association and helping many other charitable organizations, the Foundation has donated a total of over $100,000 dollars in sports memorabilia that was directly given away to the children we serve by our Team of current and retired NFL Ball Players at the various sports/health clinics, the assemblies at the High School level as well as the yearly essay contest programs.

All of these facts are to reaffirm Athletes Helping Kids on-going commitment to help build stronger, healthier and safer neighborhoods for the families and the kids we serve who live in low to moderate income communities.

Athletes Helping Kids
9903 Santa Monica Blvd.
Suite #108
Los Angeles, California 90212
Phone: (310) 474-4711