Around 2010, one of my good friends—a retired NFL player from the Denver Broncos—wanted to start a fitness business that attracted high-roller clientele. I had the idea of connecting service to this experience. From there, "Breaking Down Walls" was born. By utilizing the power of sports to influence the lives of underserved youth, we created a youth olympics that became one of the biggest events each summer. We invited all the underserved kids to come for free and learn from the pros. During that time, we also created "Bowling With The Stars,” giving the underserved a chance to bowl alongside influencers in their community.
Then, we created the "Icon to ICan" Foundation—a mentorship program to empower the underserved. In October 2015, we started Haircuts for the Homeless, providing 150-200 homeless with food, medical attention, clothing and haircuts. We have done this for the past years, every third Sunday—haven't missed a single one.
I believe that everyone is an icon and achieves success every single day—regardless of their education, profession, location or background. People are pillars within their community and should be honored and celebrated, no matter who they are. That's why I've wanted to be a part of all these incredible organizations.
I believe serving is the greatest form of living. The giving of oneself for the betterment of others is what fuels me each day. My life changed the moment I made my work about others and removed myself from the equation. That's when everything came together for me. I thank God every day for blessing me with these platforms to serve. I am truly thankful and humbled and because of that, I always make my gratitude greater than my success."
John Hartsfield is a serial philanthropist, choosing to spend his time creating and building NFPs to assist those less fortunate.