With days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, dedicated to grabbing door-buster deals, it’s easy to get caught up in celebrating the season of discounts on holiday gifts.
Seven years ago however, #GivingTuesday was founded to help remind shoppers that that gift giving comes in many forms.
The global movement helps draw attention to the ways people give back to organizations who inspire change, so in honor of this year’s celebration, we’ve put together a helpful list of non-profits connected to golf you should know about.
Whether you donate, volunteer your time, or help spread awareness around their good work, these groups are just a few of the organizations worthy of support this year.
1. Amy Bockerstette’s “I GOT THIS” Foundation
If you somehow missed the social media moment that was Girls Golf of Phoenix member Amy Bockerstette’s par alongside PGA Tour Player Gary Woodland on the 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open Pro-Am, you missed something special:
Amy, who was also the first person with Down syndrome to compete in the Arizona girls junior championship when she was in high school, awed onlookers with her confidence and impressive play.
Her “I got this” mantra even inspired Gary (along with the 43 million people who viewed the viral video), to chase that same unflappable spirit on and off the golf course.
To continue Amy’s legacy and help reach more young people like her, Amy and her family have founded the “I GOT THIS” Foundation to help create more opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to learn to play golf and find community through the game.
“She’s been on teams. She’s gotten the typical teenage girl experience through golf. But she’s the only one we’ve ever seen with intellectual disabilities who has done this,” shared Amy’s father Joe Bockerstette, “In order to get there, they have to receive instruction and the ability to play, to learn the rules and etiquette and golf, of course to hit the shots and fit in with a community of golfers. That’s why we formed this foundation. That’s what we want to achieve.”
Learn more about Amy’s “I GOT THIS” Foundation here.
2. The LPGA Foundation
With golf as the vehicle, the LPGA Foundation has been empowering women and girls for more than 30 years. While successful programs like the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program, LPGA Amateur Golf Association and LPGA Leadership Academies (which have graduated more confident golfers like Amy Brockerstette) have driven both higher participation and retention rates in the game for these important groups, there’s still a way to go to create equity and connect more amongst this important group to the game.
Currently, girls make up 35% of golfers (up from 17% since 1995) and women sadly make up just 23% of golfers and 10% of the workforce in the golf industry.
To counter that, the LPGA Foundation recently launched the Drive On for the Future campaign, aimed at further extending their initiatives and opportunities available for women and girls to discover and learn the game.
Besty King’s name has been synonymous across the world with golf since her competitive days on the LPGA Tour. The golf legend now has her sights set on creating global change and by helping end the water crisis by 2030.
Since founding Golf Fore Africa in 2008, her organization has built more than 160 wells and helped more than 700,000 people in rural villages in Zambia by providing safe clean water, sanitation and hygiene training.
She’s not going it alone, King with her co-Founder, Debbie Quesada have enlisted the help of Tour players and the entire golf community to both contribute monetary donations and join her team for humanitarian trips to support their efforts.
Since 1896, the Volunteers of America has served and supported the most vulnerable people of America including homeless individuals and families, veterans, underprivileged children, people with disabilities and those recovering from addictions.
Volunteers of America of Florida will soon open the Sandra Gal Children’s Center to provide a safe and happy space for children to learn and grow through mindfulness practice, meditation, golf and more.
Founder Gianna Rojas, otherwise known as the “One-Handed Lady Golfer”, is on a mission to make golf accessible to men and women of ALL abilities. Part facilitator and part educator, she and the Adaptive Golfers non-profit connect individuals with physical limitations to modified golf equipment, while offering tailored golf instruction, and access to a community of other budding golfers.
The organization also facilitates workshops for golf professionals to provide guidance and training for how to equip and teach individuals with varied physical and cognitive abilities.
Affordability is a well-known struggle for many families hoping to support children who play golf. From country clubs to municipal courses, Youth on Course has subsidized over 950,000 rounds of golf, providing young golfers with access to life-changing opportunities for $5 or less, and they now offer internships and caddy opportunities to give kids an inside look at career opportunities within the golf industry.
Named the benefiting charity for the LPGA’s season-ending CME Group Titleholders tournament, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital provides the help and treatment children and families need to overcome childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing, or food.
This year alone, the CME Group along with the players on the LPGA Tour helped raise $640,000 for St. Jude with every hole-in-one during the 2019 season.
Now synonymous with the Nine Core Values, the more than 150 chapters of The First Tee teach more than just stance and swing but prepare kids with skills critical for success on and off the golf course, including honesty, integrity and perseverance. The program impacts more than 5 million children annually, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Little League meets golf, the PGA Jr. League has shaken up the world of junior golf competition by converting an individual sport into a full-on team battle-royal. The friendly competition brings communities together, giving boys and girls the opportunity to play and support one another through teamwork. There’s loads to love about the program, including the adorable team uniforms.
Learn more at PGAJrLeague.org and find a local youth team to contribute to.
Is there a charity close to your heart you’d like to add to the list? Share it with us in the comments below.