Austin Gutwein is an inspirational young man who took a simple idea and used it to save children in Africa; children orphaned by the African AIDS epidemic. Austin started his charity nine years ago and now travels the country speaking. He will be making a stop in Snoqualmie tomorrow night, speaking about learning to give.
Eastside Women of Vision is sponsoring the speaking engagement that happens at Church on the Ridge, July 18th at 6:30PM. In March, Eastside Women of Vision raised $10,000 for Austin’s charity, Hoops for Hope.
In the spring of 2004, Austin Gutwein watched a video about African children who’d lost their parents to AIDS. After watching, he realized these kids weren’t any different from him – except for the fact they were suffering.
Austin says he felt inspired by god to do something to help. In 2004 he decided to shoot free throws on World AIDS Day. He shot 2,057 free throws to represent the 2,057 kids who would be orphaned during his day at school.
Through friends and family sponsorship, Austin raised almost $3,000. That year, the money raised was used by World Vision to provide hope to eight orphaned 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 to help children left behind by AIDS.
These children now have access to food, clothing, shelter, a new school, four dormitories, a computer lab, teacher houses and two medical testing facilities. Austin was told these facilities could save an entire generation.
A second school is now under construction in India and 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.
This is a rare opportunity to hear first-hand from Austin Gutwein. Again, the event happens tomorrow, Wednesday, July 18th, at 6:30PM at Church on the Ridge, 35131 Southeast Douglas Street in Snoqualmie.