“When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.”
― William Arthur Ward
On January 28 it was Game Time’s 5th birthday! As I’m typing this I still can believe my vision to help children has been a reality for 1,825 days!
I began this journey without having any expectations or experience in the philanthropy world. I knew I wanted to make a difference in the world but I didn’t know how much helping others would impact others locally, internationally and at the same time change me.
Helping others is a very unselfish thing to do, it has a lot of sacrifices, a lot of rejection, and sometimes it’s seen as a weak trait but I think and know otherwise. Life is about finding your purpose and inspiring others along the way. I know my passion (sports journalism) led me to my purpose( create game time foundation and help kids athletes).
Game Time has shaped me into the woman and person I am today, both professionally and personally. GT has taken me out of my comfort many times, it has shown me the true meaning of passion for something and it has shown me true human love. Throughout these past 5 years I’ve met amazing people who also want to help in Miami, across the US and in Colombia. GT has even given me friends who support what I do and for that I’m very grateful. Its great how the universe puts people in your way, either to teach you something, lend you hand or be a new friend.
I followed my heart to help, I started with a why, and it’s been a full circle of impact, locally and internationally, people of all ages and of different backgrounds. I still can’t believe I’ve done this for the past 5 years, alone, while figuring out how to keep running this, I wouldn’t have been able to it without my parents, my sister, some family, some friends and strangers.
Although it’s been very hard, I’ve wanted to quit more times than I could count, but I simply can’t. On very confusing, uncertain moments/days somehow I get a push from a random stranger, a call or an invite for game time foundation. In that moment is when I have discovered the magic of the universe, the magic of how much of what you put out there it’ll eventually come back to help you.
Happy Birthday Game Time, I can’t wait to keep celebrating more!
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
― Paulo Coelho,
The unkown is always scary no matter what you do in life, but if you never jump you’ll never know what could happen and you’ll always wonder what could’ve been.
It’s been 3 years full of many downs but of many ups and I can honestly say my leap of faith has been worth everything. I didn’t know where Game Time would take me when I began this journey but I knew if I followed my heart and my intuition the path would become clearer with each step I took.
On many bad days when I wanted to give up, I thought of the main reason why I started this. I wanted to do something that was bigger than myself and that meant going the extra mile, believing in it when not many people did [and still don’t]. I believe we each have a purpose, and that purpose will shape the future of this world. We all must work and pay bills, but lets make that work significant in any possible way.
Since day one Game Time Foundation has always been to help children and give them a sense of love, hope and prosperity. However, what I’ve experienced has changed my life significantly and it has made this process extra valuable. GT has brought 800 children smiles of happiness, and it has introduced me to so many amazing people I would have never met if it wasn’t for GT’s #moveMEnt. I’ve also experienced so much culture, love, joy and history in each trip I’ve done to Colombia. I’ve grown closer to family, have made amazing friends and have grown both professionally and personally through all the experiences I’ve had. I can’t wait to keep creating lifetime memories through GT in Colombia and hopefully in other countries in this world.
It’s been 3 years of growth, of happiness, of knowledge for Game Time and for myself but most importantly this has shown me that consistency, passion and heart take you far beyond and exceed your expectations. Never limit yourself because of your doubts or fears, we all have them, but be part of the risk takers who follow their hearts and in return life surprises them along the way.
Thank you to the believers and the supporters.
September 4, 2014
The things you are passionate about are not random they are your calling. – Fabienne Fredrickson
Life has its funny way of working out. You think you have it all figured out when you graduate from a university, out into the real world, get a good job, move out etc. But three years after graduation I’ve learned I’m not just Nicole “ the sports reporter.” I don’t just want to work, make money and make a name for myself in the journalism/broadcasting industry. Don’t get me wrong I love my profession, especially meeting people, everyone has a unique story to tell especially people in the sports industry, traveling, and being the messenger of stories, events etc. But, I have learned I want to keep touching lives and not just by doing a story on people and then move on to the next one story. I don’t just want to work, I want to feel alive; and I have never felt more alive than the day I decided to start Game Time Foundation in January 2014. I don’t just feel I have a “job”, I feel I have a calling, a purpose in life to help children reach their maximum potential and be happy in their sport of choice.
I didn’t know how I would start Game Time Foundation, I didn’t have any money and registrations of all types of a new corporation/non-profit are expensive. But when you have a voice in you and it’s to help the world a better place I feel the world in return helps you to achieve that goal in many ways. Through mutual friends I met two people who both have their non-profit organizations- one is in Miami and the other based locally but works in Colombia- both with different causes and views. These two men gave me advice, without knowing me, and welcomed me to the world of giving. One of these men is Joseph Sosa- who funded Mami Dora Foundation in 2004 on behalf of his late grandmother. (www.mamidora.org) Mami Dora helps the small town of Lorica, located in Northern Colombia, in many ways- health, education, etc. On a nice cool January afternoon I met with Joseph at a Starbucks. I took him some Colombian food delicacies an arepa con huevo and some meat empanadas ( corn patties with an egg inside and corn patties filled with meat), from a local Colombian bakery in appreciation for his time. When he saw the brown lunch bag, which had grease on most of the outside, he lit up like a little boy on Christmas morning. He gave me all kinds of tips, advices and gave me the “you can and will achieve this” handshake. After my meeting with him I set up a GoFundMe Page and in weeks I had more than $500 from family, friends and strangers and was able to start the Game Time Foundation process. Eight months later, to this day, Joseph helps me with any questions and concerns I have in fundraising, shipping, paperwork I have to do in Colombia etc. I will always be forever grateful for Joseph’s time, help and the simple fact that he believed in me and in my idea- before it was Game Time. Life puts people in your life for a reason.
These past 8 months I’ve never felt more alive, I’ve always been the type of person to give and help others in any way that I can. I always knew I wanted to help my family’s country, Colombia, I just didn’t know how or when. But in October I went to Colombia to do several sport stories for my website. One of them was on a baseball scout and coach in Barranquilla. After I spoke to a 5-year-old boy after I had done some shooting, because he was very curious about my visits to the field two days in a row, I listened for his love of his coach, of the game he loved dearly. Now he didn’t tell me he needed equipment I just listened to what he loved to do and I knew in that moment my life wouldn’t be the same. I went from reporter mode to a human mode. A sparkle in me was lit, a feeling I kept thinking of throughout my stay in Barranquilla and kept thinking of on my flight back home to Miami. I was physically in Miami but my heart, mind and soul were left on that baseball field with the dream of baseball of that little boy. After giving it thought for a month, it just hit me, I knew what I was going to do.
After many longgg days of name, colors and logo brainstorming- Game Time Foundation was born. All the ideas I get, I get them in the most random of ways- cooking, eating, working out, taking a shower, singing in the car while driving and all of sudden Ding! another idea for Game Time. I know my parents came to this country for a better future- for themselves, then for their new family and children; but, I feel by me giving back to their country is my way of appreciating more their home, their beliefs, their family, their country.
Everyone has a story– some have goals to find their other half, some have professional goals, but mine is a different story. I know I can have a successful career, but I want one in a way another person gets to have chances. I know I will one day continue my sports reporter path, but for now my direction in life has changed, and I feel so fortunate for being able to do that. I also feel so fortunate for my home, my country, for simply being free. I was able to get a student loan, if I don’t like a job I can go find another, but many people don’t have that chance so if I’m blessed with so many opportunities the least I can do is give opportunities out to the world. I have student loans, don’t have the life of many 25-year-olds but, I always knew I didn’t belong in the norm of graduating college, getting a job and just partying every weekend. Even though there are many frustrating times, and times I feel like just “working in my field”, I will never be the same because of Game Time. Game Time has changed me in many ways and I know it’ll keep changing me, for the better, into the Nicole I never imagined I could be. I’ve never felt more alive, happier, free and with a purpose in this life. I can’t wait to see what GT has in store for me. I want to leave my mark, and I want that mark to be someone else’s smile– one bat, one glove, one ball, one basketball hoop, and a pair of soccer cleats at a time– because this is my passion, my calling. Ask yourself what’s yours?