In the sport of mixed martial arts fighters earn their respect by showing their skill, determination, and heart within the cage. In fact, one of the best compliments you can pay a fighter is to tell him or her that they have heart. For some this extends far beyond the mat into a world that is touched by sadness or tragedy, giving them a chance to show their generosity kindness and non combative sides. In every level of MMA there is a fighter willing to donate their time and money to help charities from all over the world with all different types of causes. Big name big promotion or small name small promotion it doesn’t matter because all of these athletes have huge hearts and are willing to help others to show it. Whether giving time, money, sometimes their entire fight purse, for these fighters nothing is too much to bring awareness to the cause in which they support.
There is a broad range of charities, some centered on helping children, focusing not only health issues but bullying as well. Bullying is an epidemic that is sweeping the nation and deeply affecting families. Georges St-Pierre has been involved in Stomp Out Bullying, an organization that focuses on the reduction and prevention of bullying. Rashad Evans and Brendan Schaub have both been involved with The Boys and Girls Club of America, a group that gives kids a safe place to learn and grow. Nick Diaz and Bjorn Rebney have been affiliated with St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital which is a research facility focused on pediatric treatments. All of Team Alpha Male does work with the non-profit hospital, Shriners Hospital for Children. Dana White, Tyson Griffin, Dan and Jim Miller, Jon Jones, Cain Velasquez and Michael McDonald are all also known to do work with charities that help bring awareness to various children’s causes.
Disaster relief and support funds are always in need as well, American Red Cross being one of the better known of this type of charity. Alistair Overeem and Frankie Edgar both have worked within the Red Cross, which not only offers emergency assistance and disaster relief across the US but abroad as well. Edgar has also been affiliated with Restore the Shore after the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. Sometimes tragic events also spark a new charity into being created. A tragedy such as the Sandy Hook school shooting leaves many families and sometimes an entire community in need of support. Glover Teixeira and Ryan Quinn both joined forces with The Sandy Hook School Support Fund that was formed to help those of Newtown, Connecticut.
It is impossible to name all of the fighters and charity organizations which they are working hand in hand with. As a fan of mixed martial arts and the athletes within the sport, you now can not only show support of the tremendous skill and heart these fighters possess inside the cage but outside it as well. When getting to know your favorite athletes look deeper into the person they are and help support the causes that have touched the lives of many. You may not only boost these fighters morale, but you may also help save a life.
Other Charity Organizations and MMA personnel involved or involved at some point:
- Pink Ribbon (Breast Cancer) – Phil Davis
- Ovarian Cancer Research Fund – Dave Bautista
- Keep A Breast (Breast Cancer) – Felice Herrig, Sara McMann, Julie Kedzie
- Fisher House (Housing families of injured soldiers)- Forrest Griffin
- Intrepid Fallen Heros Fund (Serves wounded military personnel) UFC, Greg Jackson,
- Blessings in a Backpack (providing impoverished children meals)- Jade Bryce
- Kingdom Building Ministries (social welfare)- Justin Wren