How It All Started
Watch the story here as seen on CBS:
Hoops of Hope is the biggest basketball shoot-a-thon in the world, much like a walk-a-thon, but more fun! You can join thousands of participants and teams from around the world that shoot free throws for children in need. Every dollar raised will go directly to the project you select to help these children. Every free throw will literally help keep children from becoming orphans.
The United Nations estimates that every 14 seconds, somewhere in the world, another child is orphaned by HIV/AIDS. This means that each day over 6,000 children join the 15 million children worldwide who have already lost one or both parents to this disease.
In the spring of 2004, Austin Gutwein watched a video that showed children who had lost their parents to AIDS. After watching the video, he realized these kids weren’t any different from him except they were suffering. Austin felt God calling him to do something to help them. He decided to shoot free throws and on World AIDS Day, 2004, he shot 2,057 free throws to represent the 2,057 kids who would be orphaned during his day at school. Friends and family sponsored Austin and he was able to raise almost $3,000. That year, the money was used by World Vision to provide hope to 8 orphan children.
From that year forward, thousands of people have joined Austin in a basketball shoot-a-thon called Hoops of Hope. By doing something as simple as shooting free throws, Hoops of Hope participants have raised over $2.5 million. The children left behind by AIDS now have access to food, clothing, shelter, a new school, four dormitories, a computer lab, teacher houses, and two medical testing facilities which he was told would save an entire generation. A second school is now under construction in India and right now, more than 550 children are being fed each day in Malawi.
Austin believes anyone, no matter what their age or skills, can make a difference.
Join us by participating or sponsoring a participant. It's an awesome event that will leave an impact not only on the lives of the kids we're helping, but on yours as well.
"This event really seemed to motivate our kids and made them realize how blessed we all are! Thanks for the chance to help these children" - Kerry, Columbiana, Alabama