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A blazing hot summer day in the city of Atlanta, dozens of children (and adults) were inside the packed Boys & Girls club. They weren’t inside just to beat the heat though, they were learning valuable life lessons in sports and overall safety. A lesson they would never forget as WNBA star Tina Charles was front and center showing them that dreams can come true.
Charles, a 6′ 4″ center out of the University of Connecticut is a four time All-Star in the WNBA. She currently leads the New York Liberty in scoring (19.1 ppg) and rebounding (7.1). In conjunction with her partner SafeKids, she and a group of instructors gave them information on sports safety.
The children were put into groups and sent to several workstations where they would learn things like emergency response, concussion safety and proper hydration through the use of drills. At the end, she sat the kids in a circle and they asked her various questions which she gladly answered. The look of awe on the face of these young boys and girls as Charles stood there chatting it up with them was priceless.
The dedication that Charles has to her “Hopey’s Heart Foundation” can also be described as much. She started the foundation in 2013 as a grant program for Automated External Defibrillators or AED.
It’s a portable electronic device that can detect cardiac conditions and can treat them through defibrillation. Charles formed the foundation in memory of her late aunt Maureen “Hopey” Vaz who died of multiple organ failure on March 9th, 2013.
Since then, they have placed over 250 AED units across the world. Charles even donated one that very day to the Boys & Girls club of Metro Atlanta. Even her paychecks from the last three seasons of her WNBA career (yup you guessed it) has been donated to the foundation. She is hoping to expand the programs to include youth education clinics and CPR certification grants. With her dedication, that shouldn’t be a problem.
It’s good to know we have positive role models that young children can look up to male or female. Whether hard work and dedication during a game or dedication and hard work for her foundation, its all the same. Let’s salute Tina Charles, a great player and person …full of heart.
For more information or to make a donation contact:
Hopey’s Heart Foundation
P.O Box 340551
Jamaica, NY, 11434
Phone: (347) 330-3045