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Game Changers

It Starts with One

Steve Ware is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children. That work starts at home with his own five kids. Steve is intentional about being a father and makes sure that his professional duties don’t get in the way of that. He’s owned and operated several successful businesses in The Midlands, which has afforded him the flexibility to be the father he wants to be. However, he is quick to recognize that not every child has parents with that advantage or desire. He, himself, grew up without a fatherly influence and knows the struggles that stem from that particular circumstance. Abandoned by his parents and passed from shelter to shelter, Steve knows all too well about poverty and struggles. As a child, Steve lined his tennis shoes with pieces of cardboard to protect his feet from the holes in the soles. He was undisciplined and lacked for himself and others. For 14 years, Steve continued this cycle until, one day, a church-going man took notice of him and changed the game — altering the trajectory of his life. Within one year, Steve moved into the home of a loving Christian family, returned to school, and made the Honor Roll. 

It’s now been 15 years since Steve used his resources and his time to form the nonprofit Game Changers with the intention of helping children, especially those who are underprivileged and underserved. Through a focus on Mind, Body & Soul, the Game Changers organization is impacting hundreds of children each year. The mission is simple: To change lives, no matter one’s financial or social status, through inspiring hope and reflecting the love of God. Said another way. Game Changers’ vision is for every child, regardless of their present circumstance, to achieve a sense of well-being - physically, emotionally, academically, and spiritually.

The work of Game Changers takes place through mentoring programs in schools throughout the Midlands, after-school care, and seasonal programs such as a Back-to-School Bash and a Christmas Party. A large focus of the organization comes in the form of summer camps in two locations. Game Changers’ original location was procured by Steve years ago. Using his real estate connections, Steve acquired the former Gardendale Tennis & Swim Club and converted it into River’s Edge Retreat. More recently, Game Changers has purchased the old Skate Station USA and converted it into yet another facility for childhood fun. Any child in the Game Changers program receives a discount to use the facilities and participate in the fun. “My hope is that kids learn they can have fun without going out and smoking, drinking, or hanging out with the wild kids,” says Steve. “They can have a lot of fun over here!”

Both locations host a variety of summer camps where kids can enjoy traditional activities such as interactive games, outdoor recreation, treasure hunts, storytelling, music, arts & crafts, swimming, skating, field trips and so much more! Designed for all children regardless of socioeconomic status, camps include breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Life skills, character development, and Bible verses are also crucial parts of the programming. 

Summer programming caters to children ages 5 to 14, with 15 and 16-year-olds being allowed to serve as Counselors-in-Training. Registration is currently open for 2024 Summer Programming, including:

● 10 Weeks of Summer Camp

● Baseball Camp

● Basketball Camp

● Soccer Camp

● Cheerleading Camp

The success of Game Changers depends on the commitment of Steve and so many others. Hundreds of people give their time and thousands of people give their resources. Volunteer opportunities include serving in one of these key areas:

Summer Staff:

  • Counselors

  • Interns

  • Storytime Readers

  • Administrative Services

  • Cleaning Services

  • Pool Maintenance

  • General Maintenance

Professional Services:

  • Clean Pool & Vacuum Pool

  • Paint Pool Deck Build Shelves

  • Fill in Cracks on Pool Deck Pressure Wash

  • Fix electrical problems

  • Help with plumbing needs

  • IT Help with IT room and Security Cameras

  • Carpentry/Painting

Other Volunteers:

  • Clean Kitchen & Bathrooms

  • Rake around the Club House

  • Organize Classroom Materials

  • Decorating class space

  • Spray Paint  and Pressure Wash Tables

  • General Cleanup/ Yard Work

  • Sweep all sports courts

  • Painting

In addition, Game Changers hosts a gala and silent auction every winter to celebrate supporters and share their impact. This past year, more than 1,000 people were in attendance, along with countless corporate sponsors.

To learn more about Game Changers and how you can help, go to

Our Mission is to change lives, no matter one’s financial or social status, through inspiring hope and reflecting the love of God. It doesn’t take much to change a life. “When I started this thing, I thought if we could just help 10 kids, that would be great. I never thought it would become as big as it has.”

The mission is simple: To change lives, no matter one’s financial or social status.