A Little Light Foundation (ALL Foundation) was founded in 2015 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands by former professional Basketball Player, Sam Graham in memory of his mother, Alma Graham and adopted mother Marlene Kay Fresch Godden.
ALL Foundation is a fundraising, non-profit Basketball organization who focuses on using Basketball as a tool to develop positive social, academic and physical change in young talented athletes from disadvantaged and/or low income backgrounds by offering participation in Basketball Training Programs.
In 1972, Sam and his mother migrated to New York City. The move from a small tropical island, Barbados to one of the biggest cities in the world was a difficult one. It took awhile for Sam and his mother to acclimate to life in the city.
Growing up, Sam was exposed to a lot of the negative elements of city life first-hand. At a time when most kids are safely playing with each other, Sam was often confronted with the effects of drug abuse, violence, and other criminal behavior. Sam’s mother was working two jobs to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. This meant that she was not always there to steer Sam away from the negative factors surrounding him, especially during the Summer School Holidays.
Sam’s mother got in contact with the Fresh Air Fund. The Fresh Air Fund was created to allow children living in disadvantaged communities to get away from hot, noisy city streets and enjoy free summer experiences in the country. Fresh Air gave and still is giving children ages 7 to 12 years old the opportunity to visit with host families across 14 different states and Canada to experience the joys of summer in the country.
Sam became a Fresh Air child at the age of 7 and visited the Godden family in Oswego, New York the Summer of 1974 and 1975.
The Godden Family was a lovely family; mother Marlene Kay Godden, father James C. Godden and their 3 children, Richard, Robert & Jeanine.
Sam’s mother became close friends with Marlene and James and so they agreed for Sam to continue visiting the Godden’s every Summer and sometimes during the Christmas holidays.
Sadly, after a long battle fighting breast cancer, Sam’s mother passed away when he was only 16 years old. Sam lived by himself, but continued to visit the Godden’s during the Summer School breaks. Eventually Sam became part of the Godden family and was accepted as Marlene and James’s son.
Sadly, Marlene passed away fighting cancer as well in 2002.
Sam is forever grateful to his mother, Alma Graham and adopted parents, Marlene Godden and James C. Godden for loving and protecting him. They have inspired him to set up “A Little Light Foundation” to give back and help those who are less fortunate.
The name “A Little Light” was inspired by Sam’s mother, Alma Graham, her favorite gospel song;
“This little light of mine”.