A Decade of Impact: How Game Time Foundation is Transforming Lives in Latin America Through Sports

Game Time Foundation Latin America Through Sports_2
Photo Courtesy: Nicole Fernandez

By: Arielle Caputo

In a world where “Why help?” often overshadows “Why not?”, Nicole Fernandez exemplifies how the latter can change lives. At 24, Fernandez founded the Game Time Foundation, dedicating her efforts to providing sports equipment to underserved children in Latin America. Based in Miami, FL, she has positively impacted over 4,000 children in Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Honduras in the past decade.

A Serendipitous Beginning

Nicole Fernandez’s philanthropic journey began unexpectedly in Barranquilla, Colombia, in November 2013. During a sports journalism assignment for her Youtube channel, a young boy’s heartfelt declaration, “Yo lo amo” (“I love him”), about his coach deeply moved her. This encounter inspired her to help children through sports in Latin America.

“In more than 3,000 days, I’ve poured my heart, soul, tears, time, and money into this vision,” Fernandez reflects. Despite numerous setbacks, her unwavering empathy drives her mission forward.

The goals of Game Time Foundation are simple yet profound: to ensure every child has access to sports, using it as a platform for personal growth. Their vision involves empowering children with sports essentials, teaching sportsmanship, and hosting impactful life conversations.

Game Time Foundation Latin America Through Sports
Photo Courtesy: Nicole Fernandez

From the Ground Up

Starting a nonprofit is challenging, especially solo. Fernandez has single-handedly driven Game Time Foundation for a decade, occasionally supported by family, friends, and kind-hearted strangers. She manages everything from fundraising and social media to collecting, sorting, shipping and delivering equipment.

“I had no roadmap to start a foundation,” Fernandez admits. “I followed my heart and the vision and purpose instilled in me.” Her dedication and research have taught her to navigate the nonprofit world’s complexities. The community’s contributions have been vital to sustaining the Game Time Foundation. While Fernandez leads the initiative, she acknowledges the support from friends, strangers, and family who help collect, sort, and distribute equipment. Donations, both monetary and material, come from those who resonate with the mission.

“I fundraise, manage social media, collect equipment, and personally ensure they reach Colombia,” Fernandez recounts. Each step involves considerable effort to ensure every child receives the promised help.

Fernandez’s connection with the children she helps reflects her passion. “Through sports journalism, I found my purpose—to help children through sports,” she says. The smiles, hugs, and excitement from the children she aids remain with her.

Despite financial and operational challenges, Fernandez remains committed. “When all this happens, I cry. I get so frustrated,” she admits. “But even after a bad day, I sleep with a clear conscience because I know my why.”

Fernandez’s work has not been without its difficulties. She has faced skepticism, jealousy, and exploitation, but her commitment to her mission remains unshaken. “I’ve given it my all—my heart, my love, my time, my effort to help as many children as I can,” she states.

Fernandez continues to explore ways to sustain and grow her foundation. She knows the impact of her work and remains dedicated, driven by her empathetic heart.

Game Time Foundation Latin America Through Sports_3
Photo Courtesy: Nicole Fernandez

An Enduring Legacy

Nicole Fernandez’s work is about more than providing sports equipment; it instills hope and joy in children’s lives. By giving them the tools to play, she provides opportunities to dream, learn, and grow. Sports become a platform for personal development and community-building.

Beyond equipment, Game Time Foundation hosts life conversations with children, helping them build life skills. This holistic approach ensures a lasting impact on the children’s lives.

The Importance of Holistic Development

Game Time Foundation sees sports as a tool for education and growth. Their mission goes beyond providing equipment; it’s about creating opportunities for children to learn values like teamwork, discipline, and perseverance.

Game Time Foundation Latin America Through Sports_4
Photo Courtesy: Nicole Fernandez

“Sports teach more than just games,” Fernandez says. “They instill values, build character, and foster community. Every child should access these lessons, regardless of their background.”

Game Time Foundation exemplifies the power of empathy, determination, and commitment. Nicole Fernandez’s work inspires, showing that helping others doesn’t require a reason—just a willing heart. Through sports, she has provided children in Latin America not only the opportunity to play but also invaluable life lessons.

“I’ve given it my all—my heart, my love, my time, my effort to help as many children as I can,” says Fernandez. Her unwavering spirit promises to touch more lives, making the world better, one game at a time.

Published by: Martin De Juan


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