The Harlem Globetrotters Announce the Creation of The Harlem Globetrotters Fund at Nationwide Children's Hospital

June 25, 2019

The Harlem Globetrotters join the national On Our Sleeves™ movement to transform childhood mental health.


COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Harlem Globetrotters have joined On Our Sleeves™,the national movement to transform childhood mental health developed by Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Today, the world-famous basketball team announced the creation of The Harlem Globetrotters Fund at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. As Ambassadors of Goodwill, the Globetrotters are internationally known for championing issues that impact children and families.

Deeply committed to bringing the message of positive mental health to their fans and communities around the world, the Globetrotters will support advocacy for breaking the stigma, mental health education and fundraising for mental health research, which is significantly underfunded.

The Harlem Globetrotters will support Nationwide Children’s Hospital with various initiatives to raise awareness and break the stigma of pediatric mental health. During the 2019-2020 tour, Harlem Globetrotters stars will wear special edition shooting sleeves to call attention to the On Our Sleeves movement. The shooting sleeves will also be sold at games and online with a portion of the proceeds going to a special Harlem Globetrotters Fund to support the initiative.

In addition to in-game activation, the Harlem Globetrotters will collaborate with the behavioral health experts at Nationwide Children’s to create a school lesson plan program with a goal of bringing the On Our Sleeves  movement to teachers, students and parents across the United States. Harlem Globetrotters stars will deliver the lesson plan messaging at select school assemblies during the 2020 tour.

A social media campaign will run for the duration of the season, educating fans on challenges in the pediatric mental health space and encouraging fans to participate in the On Our Sleeves movement.

“We are both humbled and excited to be part of the On Our Sleeves movement in support of the one in five children in the U.S. living with a mental illness,” said Howard Smith, president of the Harlem Globetrotters. “For more than 90 years, the Harlem Globetrotters have been Ambassadors of Goodwill and we look forward to advocating for this important initiative together with Nationwide Children’s Hospital.”

“We are extremely appreciative of the Harlem Globetrotters’ commitment to bring the message of mental health awareness to their internationally-recognized basketball stage,” said Steve Testa, president of Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation. “They are making a bold statement by joining the On Our Sleeves movement to transform childhood mental health. The Globetrotters are a valued piece of Americana, true national icons for happiness and joy. Their support will help us give children and families everywhere a better chance at smiles and laughter.”

To donate and learn more about The Harlem Globetrotters Fund, visit

If you or your child need immediate help due to having suicidal thoughts, go to your local emergency room immediately, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or you can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

About On Our Sleeves

Because kids don’t wear their thoughts on their sleeves, we don’t know what they might be going through. That’s why Nationwide Children’s Hospital launched On Our Sleeves to build a community of support for children living with mental illness through advocacy, education and fundraising for much-needed research. For more information about children’s mental health and to help break the silence and stigma around mental illness, visit

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report'slist of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.5 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at