SIP. Quaranteens. Social distancing. During these unprecedented times, we have all learned new vocabulary. While some words are meant to bring humor into the darkness, others are shedding light on just how much has changed since the start of the year. Words like school closure, non-essential, PPE, and density. While all of this impacts our community as a whole, vulnerable populations – like our neighbors at the 49ers Academy in East Palo Alto – are facing risks that are not just life-limiting but life-threatening. 

But there is hope. Altruism. Empathy. Community. Light. And most of all – optimism that tomorrow will be better and that together we are stronger. Neighbors helping neighbors. 

The Wender Weis Foundation for Children asked our community of athletes and celebrities to share moments that were reminding them of the JOY and WONDER that exists even in moments of darkness. We asked them – how do you #SPARKWONDER and stay active while sheltering in place? How do you laugh? Smile? De-stress? 

Our community of champions – Steve Young, Brandi Chastain, Michael + Sara Franti, Alex Morgan, Jennifer Azzi, Hunter + Alexis Pence, AnnaLynne McCord, Stanford athletes, Liam Mayclem, Dennis Brown, SF Fire Captain Erica Arteseros Brown and more – enthusiastically responded. 

We invite you to take a deep breath, shake off the weight of the week and enjoy the light, optimism and FUN of the Wender Weis Foundation for Children #SparkWonder video and to join us in supporting the 49ers Academy COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund by visiting THIS LINK.

On behalf of the Wender Weis Foundation for Children – thank you! Today, tomorrow, and always.

Please Consider Making A Donation

  • A $25 donation provides masks for the child nutrition team to use during food distributions
  • A $50 donation covers one month of crucial utilities for a family in need
  • A $100 donation provides groceries for a family for one week
  • A $250 donation provides a wifi-enabled tablet to a student to support distance learning
  • A $500 donation provides emergency child care to support essential workers
  • A $1000 donation provides a safety net for a family on the verge of homelessness

SparkWonder Heroes (a partial list of our supporters)


Sandra & Harry Cheung

Katie Colendich

Emilie & Andrew Lynch

Maryam & Chris Neil

Nicole & Charles Taylor

Justin Bass

Dana & Charles Carmel

Ashley & John Chambers

Kate & Eric Dachs

Susan Solinsky & Paul Duryea

Wendy Dyckerhoff

Patty Rock & John Fetzer

Nadia & Max Gazor

Michelle Gilman Jasen

Jessica & J Hickingbotham

Melanie & Riaz Ladhabhoy

Meredith & John Meeks

Olivia Neil

Joanne Pasternack

Tamara Russel & Steve Wastie

Christy Weinstein

Special thanks to

Atomic Video

Kira Bardin

Reid Bardin

Justin Bass

Sam Benavidez

Frankie Solinsky Duryea

Brad Engel

Didi Engel

Vern Glenn

Nathan Hoch

Patty Hubbard

Kathy Jacobson

Michelle Gilman Jasen

Isaac Katz

Camille Kennedy

Bardia Neil

Maryam Neil

Kelley O’Brien

Joanne Pasternack

Lionel Shaw

Adrienne Smith

Susan Solinsky

Marssie Versola

Betsy Vobach

A huge thank you to our #SparkWonder Stars for their participation in the project (in order of appearance):

Michael, Sara + Taj Franti | @michaelfranti @saraagahfranti

Steve Young + kids | @foreveryoungfoundation

Vern Glenn + Zack + Jake | @vernglenn

Lauren + Mat Stephens | @teamtibco_siliconvalleybank

John Tait + kids | @nflalumni

Chasson Randle | @cha2_05

Steven Beitashour + Brayden | @sbeita33

Eric Heitmann + Evelyn + Eleanor | @eheitmann

Robbie Gould + kids | @robbiegould09

Natalie Coughlin | @nataliecoughlin

Amobi Okugo | @amobisays

Jennifer Azzi + Macklin + Ella | @jenniferlazzi

Shawn Estes + kids | @shestes55

Brighid Wood | @brighidwood

Charlie Ekstrom | @charlie.ekstrom

Nigel Hayes | @nigel_hayes

Owen + Jake Taylor | @stanfordmwp

Franco Finn + Coco | @francofinn

Jeremy Affeldt + kids | @jeremyaffeldt

Ricky Watters Jr | @rickywattersjr

Ricky Watters Sr + Shane | @rickywattersofficial

Sharon + Patrick Kelleher | @bawsi

Patrick Willis | @thewhinkersmind

Khari Stephenson | @kharilasana

DiAndre Campbell | @campbellboydre

AnnaLynne McCord | @theannalynnemccord

Brandi Chastain + Rae | @brandichastain

Torrey + Chanel Smith | @torreysmithwr

Chanel + Katelynn, TJ + Kam | @chanelsmith_22

Maddie Dailey + friends | @m.addie.d

Damian Jones | @dameology

Alex “The Rhino” Boone + Johnny | @therhino75

Alex Morgan | @alexmorgan13

Champ + Joc Pederson | @yungjoc650, @champ_pederson

Dennis + Erica Brown | @dennist.brown, @eca_sf

Michael Lahoud + Lara Fischer | @mikelahoud

Tajay Ashmeade | @sixfootsports

Liam Mayclem | @liammayclem

Hunter + Lexi Pence | @hunterpence, @letsgetlexi

And a special WWFC thank you to our behind-the-scenes production team heroes:

Atomic Productions | @atomicproductionsinc

Joanne Pasternack | @joannepasternack

Reid Bardin + Kira Bardin | @reid_soccer, @fencingkk

Justin Bass | @jhbass

Sam Benavidez | @delasam

Didi Engel | @deeds2944

John + Nathan Hoch | @wenderweis, @nathanhoch16

Patty Hubbard | @pattyhubbard10

Kathy Jacobson | @kathyjacobson

Michelle Gilman Jasen | @michellegilmanjasen

Camille Kennedy | @camillegkennedy

April Marriner | @aprilmarriner

Kelley O’Brien | @kob_events

TIBCO Software | @tibco_software

A HUGE THANK YOU to Ravenswood City Superintendent Gina Sudaria (+ son Elijah)  | @ravenswood_we.got.this | and

49ers Academy | @49ersAcademy | Executive Director Michele Sharkey  | @michelemsharkey | and their teams

for being superstars in the community, supporting the families in East Palo Alto every day of the year – YOU #SPARKWONDER  !

Amy Wender, Founder | Wender Weis Foundation for Children | @awenderhoch | @wenderweis