Ben and Ashley Roethlisberger are fixtures in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and on a national stage thanks to Ben’s role as quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Two years ago, they partnered with Convoy Nation — Convoy of Hope’s movement of kindness that creates pathways for friends in the professional sports, entertainment, and business worlds. Recently, Kirk Noonan, Vice President of Convoy Nation, interviewed Ashley for Hope Quarterly.
HQ: You and Ben sponsored and also served at one of our emergency points of distribution in New Castle, Pennsylvania, last year. That event was part of Convoy of Hope’s distribution of 200 million meals to families since the start of COVID-19. What caused you to get involved?
Ashley: We’ve been a part of Steelers Pro-Series Community Events, but when we learned we could partner with Convoy of Hope, we were so grateful to bring Convoy to my hometown. For many families who were already struggling, COVID-19 created a new low point. Convoy of Hope helped our family partner with a local church that was already doing a distribution.
HQ: I’ve watched you and your kids get on the frontlines of fighting hunger, poverty, and suffering. Why is your family so intent on helping others?
Ashley: Ben and I grew up in households where hard work and helping neighbors were always emphasized. Just showing up doesnʼt feel right to us. When we can help, we know how good it feels to do so. As parents, we are teaching our kids to be “all hands on deck” when there are needs to be met.
HQ: Speaking of your kids, you and Ben decided to have them assemble 1,000 hygiene kits for a Convoy of Hope Pro-Series Community Event during the NFL Draft weekend. That’s a lot of work!
Ashley: It’s so easy to stay in your own bubble when the world is struggling, but Ben and I wanted to create a safe environment where our kids could serve and make a difference. One the things I love about Convoy of Hope is that you have lots of opportunities to serve. Packing those bags and praying for the families that would receive them was a meaningful and great experience for our kids.
HQ: During the football season, you host small group gatherings for other players’ wives?
Ashley: Yes, every Wednesday! The Steelers are blessed to have Kent and Erica Chevalier as chaplains.
HQ: What could life look like once you step away from football?
Ashley: Last year, we bought a 174-acre farm in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, about a mile from our house. We put a pond for fishing in there, and we have a guest house. Ben’s parents will live there and help care for it. Our goal is to create an outdoor sanctuary, not just for our family but as a place that we can share with others who maybe don’t have the opportunity to spend a lot of time outdoors. It’s also a place for families to bond and spend some quality time together. Ben and I felt called to do father-and-son retreats there, too. It’s a special place. I have a feeling when football’s over, thatʼs where a lot of our time and energy will be invested.
HQ: Convoy of Hope is grateful for friends like you. You most recently sponsored 10 tractor- trailer loads to hurricane survivors in Louisiana.
Ashley: What’s special about Convoy, is that you all kind of lead the way Jesus would lead and love the way He would love. If you compare Convoy to other organizations, youʼre different in the sense that there are no feelings of pressure or guilt to get involved. Itʼs always just a very relaxed, friendly environment. I think Convoy has always done such a great job of coming alongside people who want to serve and helping them serve!