Athletes for Hope Launches the 'Who Gives?' Campaign, an Online Debate Focused on Professional Athletes' Obligation to the Community

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Social Media Campaign Begins with Tony Hawk Challenging Fellow Athletes Across All Sports to Engage in Debate at http://www.Are-Athletes-Obligated.org

"Are-Athletes-Obligated.org provides a platform for athletes and sports enthusiasts around the world to voice their opinions and share what motivates them to give back." said Tony Hawk, World Champion skateboarder and founding member of Athletes for Hope.

To celebrate three years of connecting athletes with charitable causes, Athletes for Hope launched the 'Who Gives?" Campaign, a multi-phased online campaign that starts with the oft-debated question: Are athletes obligated to give back? Tony Hawk, World Champion Skateboarder and one of Athletes for Hope's 12 founding athletes, kicked-off the debate with a challenge to his celebrity friends across the amateur and professional sports world, including Andy Roddick, Andy MacDonald, Annika Sorenstam, and Ryan Sheckler asking for their thoughts on whether athletes are obligated to give back to their communities.

The debate is hosted at http://www.are-athletes-obligated.org and is taking off across a number of social media channels including Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook encouraging sports fans to develop their own conclusions while also providing a behind-the-scenes look at how their favorite athletes interact with one another Other athletes joining the conversation include Mia Hamm, Warrick Dunn, Cris Collinsworth, Jeff Gordon, Steve Nash, and Alonzo Mourning.

"Because of where I came from, I feel personally obligated to provide kids today with the same opportunities that I had as a kid. By bringing skateparks to communities throughout the country, I know that I am making a difference.' said Tony Hawk, World Champion skateboarder and the man behind the Tony Hawk Foundation. "Are-Athletes-Obligated.org provides a platform for athletes and sports enthusiasts around the world to voice their opinions and share what motivates them to give back."

The multi-phased campaign is part of a larger call to action for hundreds of professional athletes around the world to show support for the causes about which they are most passionate. The second phase, "Who Gives? Racing for a Cause", is expected to launch in mid-December and will encourage people to do more than talk about giving back, but truly do so with an online fundraising challenge in partnership with Globalgiving.org. The third and final phase, which will take place in January, focuses on widespread athlete volunteerism in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service's MLK Day of Service.

"We are thrilled with the level of participation we have received and are truly inspired by the personal stories we have heard through this campaign,' said Ivan Blumberg, CEO of Athletes for Hope. "By providing athletes and sports enthusiasts with a platform to voice their opinions and advocate for the causes that they care about, we hope to bring awareness to the growing and extremely powerful sports philanthropy movement."

Since its inception in 2007, Athletes for Hope has quickly advanced to the forefront of sports philanthropy by offering a free service to athletes that educates them about philanthropic opportunities, connects them with charities that best fit their passions, and recognizes their efforts to inspire others. In just over two years, more than 800 athletes spanning 50 professional and Olympic sports have joined forces with Athletes for Hope to get involved on a local and national level. Athletes for Hope has completed over 450 matches between athletes and charities and has delivered its educational workshop detailing how the organization can help athletes get started in philanthropic initiatives to more than 500 professionals including members of the NBA, MLS, LPGA, ATP, WTA, NFLPA, AVP, and members of the US Olympic movement.

About Athletes for Hope
Athletes for Hope's is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization founded by an elite group of 12 professional athletes with a shared passion for philanthropy. Its mission is to educate, encourage, and assist athletes in their efforts to contribute to community and charitable causes; to increase public awareness of those efforts; and to inspire others to do the same. For more information, go to: http://www.athletesforhope.org.

Athletes for Hope's 12 Founding Athletes are: Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Warrick Dunn, Jeff Gordon, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning and Cal Ripken, Jr.

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Margaret Murton
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