SASHA COHEN has used her worldwide influence in skating and other realms, including fashion and nutrition, to make a difference in the lives of millions. When she is not skating in charity benefits and shows, like Silk’s Skate for the Heart to benefit the American Heart Association, she could be on the ice with Make-a-Wish kids or Special Olympians.
Sasha has given back to her community in many ways away from the ice as well. From donating autographed items for charity auctions to adopting an American solider overseas, Sasha has used her accomplishments and fame to benefit others.
Some of the charities and non-profit organizations she has worked with include:
Figure Skating in Harlem
Figure Skating in Harlem’s (FSH) mission is to transform young lives and help Harlem girls to grow in leadership, confidence and academic achievement. Established in 1997 with a special visit by Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton, FSH has served more than one thousand girls with a powerful program that prepares them for success in all aspects of life.
Not only does Sasha participate in the annual Skating with the Stars Under the Stars event in New York City, she is also a member of the FSH board. She serves with notable names of the sport including Olympic medalists including 2006 Olympic silver medalist Tanith Belbin, 2002 Olympic bronze medalist Tim Goebel and 2009 World Champion Evan Lysacek.
American Heart Association
The mission of the American Heart Association is ” to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. ” A pioneering group of physicians and social workers formed the first Association for the Prevention and Relief of Heart Disease in New York City in 1915. In late 1948, the American Heart Association made its public debut.
Sasha participated in a benefit for the American Heart Association, Disson Skating’s Silk Skate for the Heart, on Sept. 19, 2009, in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The show will air Jan. 31 on NBC.
Boys and Girls Clubs of America
Founded in 1860 in Hartford, Conn., the Boys and Girls Clubs of America aims to “enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”
As a cast member with the Stars on Ice tour, Sasha has invited members of local Boys and Girls Clubs to join her on the ice before a performance. A portion of the proceeds from Stars on Ice ticket sales in select areas also benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, allowing Sasha’s fans to give to the organization as well.
Make a Wish Foundation
Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has enriched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions through its wish-granting work. The Foundation’s mission reflects the life-changing impact that a Make-A-Wish experience has on children, families, referral sources, donors, sponsors and entire communities.
On February 11, 2006, NBC Universal organized a day at the 2006 Olympics for the Make-A-Wish children, which included dinner with Sasha, only days before she won the silver medal. The evening also included a private performance at the GE Ice Plaza by the Magic Poets and priority seating at the pairs figure skating competition.
P.S. ARTS is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring arts education in public schools by providing comprehensive, skills based, sequential classes in dance, music, theater and visual arts. As a performer herself, as well as a choreographer and costume designer, Sasha has a passion for promoting the organization.
P.S. ARTS, which was originally founded as an outreach project of the Crossroads Community Foundation, serves thousands of children in some of the most under served neighborhoods in California. The organization also offers arts-related workshops for classroom teachers, integrating creative expression and the arts into the core curriculum.
Public Libraries Literacy Programs
Provided by various counties including Los Angeles County, the Public Libraries Literacy Programs provide free literacy services to adults. The programs mainly provide adult basic education and test preparation, often for free or at an affordable cost for participants. The Public Libraries Literacy Programs also help those with limited English proficiency.
We also recommend supporting:
USTC.org – United States Tech Corps
CASafeSchools.org – California Safe Schools Coalition
CampPendletonRaces.com – San Diego Mud Run to support our Armed Forces
www.academicgames.org – non-profit organization dedicated to developing thinking kids
Ronald McDonald House Charities
The mission of the Ronald McDonald House Charities is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Sasha and the RMHC believe that when you change a child’s life, you change a family’s, which can change a community, and ultimately the world.
Among her contributions, in October 2008, Sasha visited the Ronald McDonald House along with the cast of the McDonald’s Family Tribute on Ice show. While at at the house, Sasha, the children and their families participated in arts-and-crafts projects.
The Shaka Franklin Foundation
The Shaka Franklin Foundation, based in Denver, is a non-profit organization found in 1990 to address the serious problem of youth suicide. Since, the foundation has positively touched the lives of thousands of young people across the world and has expanded to offer all young people opportunities to enrich their education and cultivate their creativity.
Soldiers’ Angels was started by a self-described ordinary mother of an ordinary young man turned hero, Sgt. Brandon Varn. Brandon was deployed in Iraq and has since honorably completed his mission and has returned back to his proud and loving family.
In the summer of 2003, he wrote home expressing his concern that some soldiers did not receive any mail or support from home. Being a caring and loving mother, she decided not to allow a situation like that to continue. She contacted a few friends and extended family to ask if they would write to a soldier or two. Within a few short months, Soldiers’ Angels went from a mother writing a few extra letters to an Internet Community with thousands of angels worldwide, including Sasha.
“I can’t imagine the danger our soldiers face at home and all over the world,” Sasha said. “How would you feel if your mom or dad were ordered overseas and you didn’t know when they would return home? Adopting a soldier is the best way I can say to our soldiers that I support you and I don’t take for granted your personal sacrifice to make my world safe.”
Since 1968, Special Olympics has been bringing one message to the world: people with intellectual disabilities can and will succeed if given the opportunity. Sasha is proud to support the efforts of the Special Olympics by skating with the athletes. Her interaction helps give skaters a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy.
Through year-round sports training and competition, Special Olympics empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities in more than 180 countries. Special Olympics often is the only place where they have an opportunity to participate in their communities and develop belief in themselves. Many live lives of neglect and isolation, hidden away or socially excluded from full participation in schools or society.
Get involved with Sasha
Sasha is always interested in new opportunities to give back to the community. If you work with an organization that would like to partner with Sasha, please contact her agent.