Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 End of Year Update

As I look back and reflect on 2009, once again, I am amazed and humbled. I’m amazed at the passionate people who participated in and hosted events around the world. I’m humbled to be able to play a small role.

In a year where worry and cutbacks plagued many non-profits, we moved forward, holding 271 Hoops of Hope events and raising enough to fully fund four dormitories, a new medical clinic in Zambia, a water system in Kenya, and two hope centers in Swaziland. Because of thousands of volunteers, we were able to do this with the equivalent of two employees. This allowed us to keep our non-program cost to less than 5% and were able to continue to commit 100% of funds raised at our events to the children we’re helping.

Here is a quick update of the projects Hoops of Hope has been involved with:

  • Johnathan Sim Legacy High School: Now in it’s 2nd year, close to 500 students are receiving a high school education for the first time. Hoops of Hope has funded 4 dormitories to house 210 students of which many are currently sleeping in the classrooms. The first dorm to house 80 girls is open. The second dorm to house 40 boys is under construction. The remaining two dorms will open in 2010.

  • Medical Clinic in Sinazongwe: The clinic has been open for about 9 months and has served many people in the community offering life-saving treatment and counseling. As one of the government leaders put it, the clinic will save an “entire generation” of Zambian children.

  • Medical Clinic in Chilala: The clinic in Chilala has been fully funded and is currently under construction due to open mid 2010.

  • Water Project in Kenya: Hoops of Hope partnered with LCBC in Pennsylvania to fund a complete water system in Kenya that is under construction.

  • Hope Centers in Swaziland: These two centers provide a safety net for children orphaned by AIDS. Each center offers education, food, healthcare and life-skills training.

Equally as important as the projects we’re working on, we were able to impact nearly 20,000 young people who participated in a Hoops of Hope marathon. These students were able to realize that they can make a difference no matter what their age.

I’ll share an update on the projects we’re working on for 2010 in a blog to be posted later this week. In the meantime, thank you for being a part of Hoops of Hope.


Director [volunteer]

Friday, December 18, 2009

Need Magazine

I first heard of NEED Magazine a few years ago when they ran an article on Hoops of Hope. I was intrigued by their tag line of "We're not out to save the world but to tell the stories of those who are" and I've been a subscriber and follower since. The following clip aired recently on CNN and it's about how their co-founder ended up helping children while working on a documentary. So Kelly, today, we're telling your story...because you are helping to change the world.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Recent All Stars News

Hope you'll join us at the Hoops of Hope All Stars Tour in 2010!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Blog Winner!

Mark is the lucky winner of Austin’s book – Take Your Best Shot – as well as Guys are Waffles, Girls are Spaghetti by Chad Eastham, Redefining Beautiful by Jenna Lucado, and Word of Promise Next Generation Audio New Testament all from Tommy Nelson. You can follow them at www.twitter.com/tommynelson andwww.facebook.com/tommynelsonkids.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to comment on the blog. We'll do more give-a-ways in the future!

HOH Team

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Austin's World AIDS Day Blog

It’s amazing to think that today; December 1st marks six years since Hoops of Hope began. My family and I are always humbled to look back at how God has used this simple event. For those of you who don’t know when or why Hoops of Hope started I want to give you a little background.

Hoops of Hope began in the spring of 2004. We had been sponsoring two children through World Vision and received a video in the mail. So we sat down as a family and watched it. I remember just not knowing what to think as the narrator described this little girl named Maggie who had lost everyone in her life except her great-grandmother. What was even sadder though was Maggie lived in Zambia and struggled to find food. And Maggie wasn’t alone. There are over 15 million children who have been left alone because of this disease. Of this 15 million, 12 million live in sub-Saharan Africa.

I remember asking my parents that night what we could do to help. A few weeks later I had a call with a man at World Vision who simply encouraged me to use my favorite sport to make a difference. I decided I would play basketball to help kids like Maggie. The first time I went out to shoot my hoops was December 1st, which is also World AIDS Day. I had friends and family rebounding for me as I shot 2,057 free throws. One for every child orphaned during my school day. Six years ago that happened and that night I told my parents that I wanted to do it again but with a lot more kids.

Since then Hoops of Hope has taken off, and this week, we’ll have over 60 events in 15 countries. We have been able to help build a school for 1,000 kids, build a major water project, two medical clinics, two Hope Centers, four dormitories, donate bicycles, and help to save countless lives. All from shooting some hoops. Nothing fancy. Nothing creative. We just shot some hoops.

But the best thing about Hoops of Hope is still to come. You see, many of the participants are kids and teenagers. And we might not know how this has changed them for a long time. Every once in a while we’ll meet an adult who thinks it’s just kids making a difference. We simply let them know that we have participants ages 4 to 72. This year, we’re going on the Hoops of Hope All Star Tour with a goal of shooting 15 million free throws. One for every child left behind. You can join us by visiting our website and clicking the All Star button.

When I was over in Zambia the chief of the Tonga people told me that God used teenagers in America to change the lives of his teenagers over in Zambia. The chief was challenging his teens to start making a difference. What an awesome thing that is to know that more and more teenagers are seeing that they can change the world. My prayer has always been that kids and teens would realize they can make a difference and they can do it now. You’re never too young to make a difference and you’re never too old to start. As we think about these six years I will continue praying that prayer. That God will stir something inside my generation that we just can’t contain.


Get a signed copy of "Take Your Best Shot"

Each day this week Hoops of Hope is partnering with Tommy Nelson and
giving away a copy of my new book, Take Your Best Shot! On Friday we are
giving away a prize pack full of not only my book but the new books and
live DVD's from my buddies and fellow Revolve speakers Jenna Lucado and
Chad Eastham, who have also been to Africa!!! We are even throwing in a
copy of Word of Promise Next Generation Audio New Testament.

To be entered into this giveaway...

Leave a comment on this blog post...
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The low-down: ReTweet @TommyNelson's daily giveaways to be entered to
win a copy of Take Your Best Shot, signed by Austin, every day this
week. Comment here to enter the big Friday giveaway - a Prize Pack of
goodies for teens.