The Difference One Person Can Make

 In Community Initiative, customized giving, grantmaking, philanthropy, PVF News

By Sheryl Young, San Mateo County Program Director

The All Stars Helping Kids’ workshop, recently held at Google, was filled with inspiring young social entrepreneurs eager to share their vision and business plans. Founder Ronnie Lott, former NFL player with the SF 49ers, smiled in the back as the room filled up with funders (including PVF) volunteering to hear the “pitches” and give feedback.


Ronnie started All Stars Helping Kids 30 years ago when he invited some of his fellow athletes to a lunch. He shared his vision of how to disrupt poverty by funding new, innovative non-profits aimed at helping youth. At that lunch, he raised $250K and through the leadership of him and his wife, Karen, they have reached over 35,000 kids from low income families in the Bay Area.

“Mentorship and coaching are a big part of what we do, but what’s really important is connecting these nonprofits with other leaders and donors in the community, whom they normally have no access to” says Ronnie. When I asked him why he does this work, he replied, “We are all striving to be Stars, and all our kids deserve that too.”

Six non-profits were selected for this year’s cohort: SF Achievers, Team Inc., Chapter 510, Project Commotion, Urban Ed Academy, and Writer Coach Connection. These agencies focus on rigorous academics, health and fitness, and life skills – giving hope, confidence and opportunity for kids.


Ronnie Lott shows us all the power and impact one person can make. PVF is proud to be a supporter of Ronnie’s work and many of the nonprofits All Stars Helping Kids’ has helped. As Ronnie says, “Exhaust the moment and make every moment count.”

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