Gabrielle is the daughter of 8-year U.S. Air Force Veteran, Jennifer Hieber, and a sister to two siblings. At the ripe age of four, Gabrielle discovered a love of softball. Over the years, her passion for the sport and her skills grew exponentially. This landed her a spot on a travel softball team, and she began playing year-round as a pitcher and first baseman.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, the Hieber family was immediately impacted when Gabrielle’s father was out of work because his job was shut down long-term. Due to this enormous loss of income for the family, they began looking at ways to trim their current budget, and unfortunately, extracurriculars for their children could have potentially been on pause.
Looking back on this time Jennifer shares, “My daughter staying active in her sport was the one true bright spot in an upside-down world. While I understand they [children] are resilient, the isolation does take a toll on them at such a pivotal age of development, especially when their friends are everything to them. Staying active in her sport meant that she was still getting to enjoy that camaraderie and it gave her a break from the constant negativity that this past year seemed to generate. At the time, I was hopeful for any kind of help that may be provided.”
After applying for services on Hope For The Warriors website, Jennifer received HOPE during a very troubling time. Jennifer shares, “The day I received the call that New Balance was going to pay my daughter’s fees in full for the year, I stood in disbelief and cried when I hung up the phone. If it weren’t for my military service, my daughter might not have been able to continue with her sport. I am forever grateful for this unbelievable helping hand that New Balance and Hope For The Warriors provided for my family.”
Today, Gabrielle is thriving at softball, but most importantly she is learning important life lessons from the sport, that are both applicable on the field and in everyday life. She loves being a team player and at the age of 12, has a true understanding of what it means to be a team player and friend, something we can all agree is very important in today’s world where kindness and empathy are often lacking.
Gabrielle sums up the lessons she has learned from her sport and being on a team, “To be a good teammate means to do what’s best for your team and do whatever to help your team. Also, you need to be there to pick your teammates up and help them when they aren’t at their best. A good teammate is being a good friend and a good person all around and in all aspects of life, on and off the field.”
Thank you, Gabrielle and the Hieber family for being a part of our HOPE family! It has been a pleasure to serve you as you have served us.