By Tim Saunders on
Athletes For Hope is an organization that was established in 2006 to educate, encourage and assist athletes in their efforts to contribute to community and charitable causes, while at the same time increasing public awareness of those efforts, and inspiring others to do the same. Agassi launched the initiative with co-founders 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 to pass his passion for philanthropy to others.
“We’ve signed up about 500 athletes in about a year’s time,” Agassi told CNBC. "Myself, Lance and Mia (Hamm) have been reaching out and we just got a bunch of the Portland TrailBlazers who want to be a part of it. We’re just trying to build this thing up as big as we can.
“I feel like it’s a daily effort to get it right and to make sure what I do in the next 20 years trumps the last 20 years. I keep pushing for the things I believe in. I used tennis as a vehicle and I got attracted to education because I saw how it could change the lives of children.”
During the interview, Agassi also talked about how difficult it is to keep a charity going, especially given the current recession.
“It’s difficult. If you want to be successful in any business, you have to put a lot of time into it. And an athlete’s time is a rare commodity. If you want a charity to work, it has to be a full-time commitment and then some. That’s why Athletes For Hope is big because it’s not only for people who don’t have the wherewithal to build their own foundation but will also serve as a great way for athletes to learn the process and what they should value. They are now surrounded by an army of us.”
The full interview can be read here.
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