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Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

Sustainability’s Been No Slam-Dunk for Hoops 4 Hope

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
By Jack Graves | 

Mark Crandall thinks it’s amazing how much Hoops 4 Hope has been able to do with so little in the past 18 years.Jack Graves

   Mark Crandall, who’s hopeful that the Hoops 4 Hope program he’s overseen in Zimbabwe and South Africa for the past 18 years will continue to grow, is nevertheless mindful that, despite the organization’s fine reputation, fund-raising has been a continuous struggle, he said during a conversation at The Star before flying to Africa the other day.
“We’ve got 2,000 pairs of sneakers at the Neighborhood House,” he said, “but, while everyone wants to give you sneakers, they don’t necessarily want to raise the money so that you can send them across the world. . . . In Zimbabwe we’re in over 100 schools, but we don’t have basketballs.”
Well-wishing was well and good, he said, but Hoops 4 Hope, which uses basketball as a gateway to its life skills courses in such topics as H.I.V. prevention, gender equality, and leadership, courses aimed at redirecting at-risk youth, needs to become “sustainable. . . . We want to take our model and share it farther and wider, but we can’t undersell it anymore. We need $1 million to become sustainable, and in order to do that we need corporate sponsorships.”
“We led a $100,000 grant from the German government that reached 1,000 kids and 120 coaches in Cape Town during the World Cup. It was about upscaling these amazing coaches and investing in them. It allowed us to go out from the city into rural areas. It allowed us to show our model and made it clear how much money we should be spending. Angela Merkel came down and checked it out and was pleased. But now that money is gone.”
Crandall, while he still remains a volunteer C.E.O. after all these years, has hopes for the Internet. “We’ve dived into social media, the word’s definitely getting out, we are getting more exposure, but we’ve got to harness it. It’s amazing we’ve been able to do so much with so little.”
There had, he said, been some especially good news recently, in the fact that Cape Town had agreed to turn over an indoor-outdoor recreation complex in the center of the city to Hoops 4 Hope’s management. The complex will serve as the organization’s center there.
“There’s an all-purpose pitch, indoor and outdoor basketball courts . . . a weight room, a stage, offices. . . . The city has the facilities, but can’t afford any programs. We have programs, but, until now, no space. So it’s been a good partnership.”
The Amagansettter added that “the family and friends of a guy from Brooklyn who visited our pilot program in Mozambique last year with his son, and who died in the fall, are raising money so that we can refurbish the outdoor court and name it after him, Steve’s Memorial Court. A recent party in the city raised $8,000 so we can do this and pay a coach too.”
“We have a big presence in Cape Town, but we’ve been on austerity the last couple of years. This center, in the heart of where we’ve had our programs over the years, and which has an indoor gymnasium, will provide us a fun and safe place where we can deliver our curriculum.”
The center would also serve as a home court for Hoops 4 Hope’s all-star club team, some of whose members, he said, have gone on to play for provincial and national teams.
Hoops 4 Hope had also served, Crandall said, as a stepping stone for its all-star coaches, alumni leaders whom the organization had made “as employable as possible. . . . We are making an impact on these people’s lives.”
Hoops 4 Hope’s Zimbabwean center, in Harare, has had Internet access for the past two months, he said; the one in Cape Town as of yet did not. “We’ve got an Internet clubhouse ready to go, but we need a corporate sponsor. Then we could tell their story and show their logo and prove our programs are working.”
Speaking of Harare, “United States consulate people there are going to send one of our girls to the N.C.A.A. women’s finals in Denver, and two of our coaches are going to the men’s N.C.A.A. finals. . . . The N.B.A. has enabled us to benefit from the sale of tickets to the Broadway play celebrating the lives of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. I’m hoping that will help us get our word out in New York. That’s where we need to be. We’re trying to find office space in the city, in an incubator space or with a like-minded organization — a place where we could have an intern. It would have to be basically free. We can’t pay rent.”

MVP Reunion Unites H4H Champions in Cape Town

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Written by Junior Ngandu 

On Sunday the 4th of March 2012, a reunion was held in honor of all the members who have helped make Hoops 4 Hope what it is today. The reunion was held at Crossraod MPC Center Sports in Crossroads, Cape Town. Many coordinators old and new attended, such as the likes of  Lindile Khetelo (Lala), Gcina Mondi, Lulama Mvadaba, Bruce Tantsi, and Thabo Maratola. Over 50 individuals were  present to show their support for the group.  The event started at 10 am that Sunday and ran till 4pm that afternoon. It was great to see so many people from the organization and spectators at the event. Old and new reunited over good food, music, and a bit of sweat, playing basketball, soccer, and cricket.

The main entertainment for the day was a series of exhibition games, both soccer and basketball. With over 50 members, and most willing to take part in the games, competition was naturally high and the games were truly entertaining. Aside from the good times, this reunion was a remarkable showcase of the progress of the organization and the people in it. At the end of the day, after speaking with the organizers, they were all really happy with the turnout of the event.

Zim MVP to USA!

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

In Late February, the Hoops Zim Team received some wonderful news from Michael Brooke, Public Diplomacy Officer from the US Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe. 16 year old MVP Francisca Sekete  was selected and approved to participate in the NCAA Women’s Final Four Program in the USA! She will be one of three young players from Zimbabwe traveling on this program.

 Francisca will fly the Hoops 4 Hope banner high as she gets a once in a life time opportunity to visit her dream land – the USA. Thanks to the USA Embassy in Zimbabwe, the efforts of Michael Brooke, and our own hard working & change maker -Mark Crandall.  Francisca was all smiles on hearing the news. She is ready to play her ambassadorial role for Hoops 4 Hope, family and country. Go Fra! Go H4H!!!

Young Shoe Designer Helps Sneaker Donations Reach Barefoot Kids

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Written by NY1’s Rome Torre

It is not unusual for teenagers to want to look cool. Ben Charles, 16, is one of them, a self-confessed sneaker addict.

“I used to collect a lot of sneakers,” says Ben. “I have a basketball sneaker, a tennis sneaker, a ‘hang-out’ sneaker.”

But an image of a barefoot child in Haiti following the country’s devastating earthquake made Ben realize some people his age are not lucky enough to have even one pair of sneakers.

“That picture is still in my head today. It’s that kid with his feet where you don’t even want to see it. He was beat up, dirty. It looked like he’d never been in a pair of sneakers,” says Ben.

Instead of looking away, he decided to do something.

“One day, I might be that other person and I hope there is another 16-year-old kid that would give to people that need,” says Ben.

He set out to create a charity to help those less fortunate discover his love of shoes.

“I feel like when you put on sneakers you feel confident. What good am I doing creating a company charging a $100 for a sneaker? Let’s donate a sneaker to someone that needs one,” says Ben.

This past summer, Saves by B was born, a line of sneakers designed by Ben. For every pair sold, another identical pair will be given to a child who cannot afford sneakers.

“You might be the kid that I donated it to or you might be the kid that bought it. Nobody’s going to know. It gives everyone that equal opportunity,” says Ben.

The sneakers are distributed with the help of K.I.D.S. and Hoops 4 Hope.

“Many of our kids show up without shoes. It’s hard to put into words how much that pair of sneakers really means to them,” says Hoops 4 Hope founder Mark Crandall.

It makes Ben not only a trendsetter but also a charitable role model.

“When I heard what Ben was doing, I was so impressed. Here a young high school student has felt that it is his duty and his interest to help people around the world,” says K.I.D.S. President Janice Weinman.

“He’s doing something purely kind right now but he’s also doing something cool,” says Jeremy Hoffman, Ben’s friend.

So, for helping teenagers in need fill their closets, one sneaker at a time, Ben Charles is the latest New Yorker of the Week. To get your own pair of Saves by B and for more information, visit Saves By B’s Facebook page.

By Purchasing a pair of SAVES by B, you are extending your hand to a person in need who will receive a new pair of SAVES B as a gift from you. For every pair of SAVES by B, one pair will be donated to those in need with the help of K.I.D.S and Hoops 4 Hope.

H4H Represents in Belgium!

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

 Long time H4H Champion and supporter Jason Baseden, Athletic Director from The International School of Brussels, has been busy planning his next adventure to Cape Town! As preparation for he and his basketball team’s journey  in early April, where they will of course be visiting and volunteering with the Hoops 4 Hope programs, he and his team are  hosting a Hoops 4 Hope basketball weekend on February 3rd and 4th with the American School in London and the American School in Paris.  Nike has donated 40 shirts to sell for a fundraiser and Jason’s kids are operating a fundraiser by keeping their game statistics as a means to generate funds! His student athletes, both varsity and junior varsity teams, are receiving pledges based upon their offensive charges, steals, rebounds, blockshots, and points made. We look forward to hearing about their successful efforts. Thanks, Jason and Team!