Our Mission

USAHEF supports Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls in their preparation to represent the US in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We provide aid to athletes and help them navigate through a crisis or emergency when in need.

What We Stand For

  • Help those in need
  • People who have worked hard asking for what they need with transparency and authenticity and without shame
  • Foster a respectful, inclusive, and unified community

What We Offer

  • Immediate funding to help these athletes navigate through emergencies
  • A space where they can ask for exactly what they need without stigma
  • A community of support
  • An opportunity for individuals to contribute to the well-being of an inspirational group of people

It is one thing to suffer, but it is another completely to suffer without anyone knowing what you are going through. Athletes training to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Games are known for their strength, perseverance, and stoicism.

They are the community that lifts us up every two years and reminds us that we are one nation; that we must chase—fear and all—what we believe in; that no matter who we are or where we come from, we are the biggest manifestation of our dreams. But these athletes are also a community that suffers alone.

Their financial misfortunes or lack of food, shelter, or clothing don’t tend to make the papers like their victories do. Yet, they continue on inspiring us, pushing us to be better, driving us to dream more.

Funding Allocation

What is the deadline for my application?
The relief fund is limited and will be dispersed as applications are approved. There is currently no deadline to apply, however, should funds become low or unavailable, we will provide an update on this site.

How long will it take to process applications and disbursement for Phase 1?
For Phase 1, the approval and disbursement process will take, in total, approximately 6-8 weeks. Applications will be reviewed and approved within 21 business days (beginning from the date the application is submitted) and may take longer depending upon the receipt of required documentation and application materials. The remaining 3-5 weeks is dedicated to the disbursement of the funds.

Program Eligibility
We’re here to help. The first step is to determine if you qualify for assistance from USAHEF. Questions to ask yourself include:

  1. Do I fit both criteria below?
    • I am an Olympic/Paralympic Athlete (or hopeful)
    • I am a US Resident
  2. Have I been significantly impacted by a hardship understanding that the current focus is around those individuals impacted by COVID-19?
  3. Am I currently in significant need without other means or savings to account for basic and critical expenses?

Expenses include: Training/Facility fees, Physical therapy sessions, Coaching, Transportation, and Medical expenses

Competition costs: Competition travel, Visas, and Registration fees

If you have answered ‘yes’ to all three questions, you are eligible to apply for a USAHEF grant, which will have multiple phases. Please note – your eligibility will be verified through our authentication process.

How to Apply?
Step 1: Click the apply button to access the application page, complete the application with the requested information.

Step 2: Submit your application – Complete the requested information and upload the required supporting document and submit for review.

Step 3: Stay tuned – A grant specialist will review your application and contact you if more information is required.

What Happens Next?
Once your application is received you will receive a notification confirming your application has been submitted. If additional information is necessary to move forward, you will receive an email outlining what documentation our team needs. Upon receipt of all supporting documentation, a grant specialist will review and make a decision regarding your request. If approved, a grant distribution will be made based on your payment preference selected in the application.

What if I am an employee in the Olympic/Paralympic business, but NOT an athlete competing in one of the designated sports?
Although we have tried to make this an inclusive effort to professionals in the industry, due to limitations of funding and verification, we are unfortunately unable to further broaden the eligibility at this time.

What if I am an Olympic or Paralympic athlete hopeful, but NOT a US resident?
Unfortunately, due to a number of limitations at this time, we are unable to open the fund up to non-US residents. We would recommend you reach out to organizations based in the country where you reside to see what support programs may exist.

Why do you need to know my financial position?
For all grants supporting short-term relief and recovery, it is required by the Internal Revenue Service that USAHEF assesses your financial need.

To provide proof of income, how recent of a paystub do applicants need to provide?
A paystub that is dated November 1, 2019 or later is required.

If approved, how quickly will funds be disbursed?
For Phase 1, the approval and disbursement process will take approximately 6-8 weeks.

Who reviews my application?
Trained staff and athlete advisors at USAHEF will review your application. Decisions will be made by USAHEF and will be based upon completeness of your application, demonstrated need, and available resources.

How will I receive assistance?
If approved, a grant distribution will be made! Funds are received by a digital disbursement via Venmo. Venmo (a peer to peer money transfer system like Zelle or CashApp) is typically processed within 10 business days from an approved application. Pay cards (a prepaid card that employers may use to pay employees) are not eligible for Venmo transfers and will cause delays in getting your funds to you.

What if I have insurance?
The fund cannot provide assistance for losses already covered by insurance.

What is “liquid savings?”
Savings in the form of a liquid asset which is something you own that can quickly and simply be converted into cash while retaining its market value. Some examples of assets that would be considered liquid are: cash, checking or savings accounts. Individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, and 401(k)s are retirement savings accounts designed to hold your money until retirement and technically are not liquid assets, unless you have reached retirement age.

What additional documentation do I need to have on hand while applying to prove expenses?
Bills, statements, receipts, invoices showing payment, and other types of documentation that demonstrate your financial need.

Giving FAQs

Who is USAHEF?
The US Athletes Hopeful Emergency Fund (USAHEF) is a pending 501(c)(3) public charity. USAHEF has established a relief fund to support Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls in their preparation to represent the US in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The emergency fund provides aid to athletes and helps them to navigate through a crisis or emergency when in need.

Can I designate my contribution to a specific individual?
While gifts cannot be designated for a specific individual, they can be designated to a specific Olympic event, to Paralympic athletes in general, or to Olympic athletes generally. Funds are available to provide assistance to applicants in need who meet the criteria of the program.

Are my gifts to the fund tax-deductible? Will I get a statement at the end of the year?
A donation to USAHEF may be tax-deductible, provided no goods or services were received in exchange for the donation. A gift acknowledgment will be provided for all gifts, $250 or more, made directly to the Fund. Cash gifts, depending on the amount, may or may not require a receipt for tax purposes. Please check with your tax advisor for more information.

Do I need to give to be eligible to apply for assistance from the Relief Fund?
Gifts to USAHEF are voluntary and are not required to apply for assistance.

Contact Us

USAHEF grant specialists want to help. For questions, please email USAthletesHopefulEmergencyFund@gmail.com Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.