Who We Are
Hope Sports is a non-profit organization that promotes personal growth and community among athletes through short-term service trips to Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. We aim to provide a transformational experience that unites athletes around a shared purpose of serving the poor that can become a catalyst for athletes to impact their families, teams and communities for positive change.
Hope Sports was founded in March 2015. In our first year we built 11 houses and hosted over 200 professional and olympic athletes. In the coming years we’re looking to expand to new locations and projects. Our goal is to help athletes maximize their lives. In 2016 we’re rolling out a leadership program for athletes that want to engage and learn after the build is complete.
Throughout Latin America, the typical cost of a home is 5.4 times higher than working families’ average wages. 30% of all families live in dwellings crudely constructed from scrap materials, plastic and rubbish.
A child without a home is three times more likely not to attend school with direct consequences for future employability and self-reliance. The poorest children are, tragically, practically predestined to repeat the cycle of poverty into which they are born.
Homeless children are twice as likely to suffer from asthma and other chronic health conditions. Simply moving from dirt to a concrete floor reduces the rate of chronic childhood diarrhea by 43%.
Children without shelter suffer anxiety, depression, social withdrawal and a variety of accompanying mental health issues at vastly higher rates than the norm. Homeless children are twice as likely to experience persistent hunger and four times as likely to have delayed development. These and other issues affect homeless children’s ability to form and keep peer relationships and also prevent those children’s integration into mainstream society.
Families struggling to keep their children safe, warm and dry at night have little opportunity to prepare for or invest in a brighter future. Providing adequate housing for a family allows its adults to seek and retain better employment and provide greater long-term support for themselves and their children.
Hope Sports partners with a non-profit organization called Homes of Hope to select the recipient families and build the homes. Over the last 27 years, Homes of Hope has built and donated 5,500 homes in 20 countries. Recipient families are selected based on a three criteria:
- They must own the land or have been making payments on the land for the previous 6 months
- Must earn less than $70 per week
- Must be a family
Homes of Hope has a team of professional builders that lead the building process. Even though it takes only two days to build the house, the impact will last a lifetime. Through maintaining a relationship, the Homes of Hope staff insure the well-being families long after they have received the home.
Hope Sports works alongside Homes of Hope to provide high-impact, short-term service opportunities while insuring the long term sustainability for the recipient families and their communities. By joining us for three short days, your impact will last a lifetime.
Hope Sports is devoted to a two-pronged mission: 1) To engage professional athletes in community service, providing them with an opportunity to connect meaningfully to
Community: We bring athletes together for a shared purpose over the course of one weekend. Our trips are perfect for teams looking to deepen relationships and enhance communications.
Purpose: We help athletes live purpose driven lives and to be people who leave a legacy and make a difference in the world. We encourage purpose based identity.
Identity: In one weekend athletes will build a home for a family in need and forever be impacted. In giving hope to others, athletes receive more than they give.
Guy founded Hope Sports as a result of his personal life experiences as a professional athlete. Guy is a professional track cyclist who competed on the US National Team and other professional cycling teams since 2005. In 2009, at the peak of his career Guy saw extreme poverty while racing in Mexico City. Guy began to question his purpose in life and decided to stop racing. He sold all of his possessions and traveled the world to serve the poor. After two years of serving the poor, Guy decided to return to professional racing, combining his desire to compete and his passion to serve. Hope Sports grows out of Guy’s vision to see professional athletes live with greater purpose and a heart of service.
Dr. Ben Houltberg
Dr. Ben Houltberg is a founding member of Hope Sports and serves as the Director of Research and Development. Dr. Houltberg is a core faculty member at the Thrive Center for Human Development in the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology and works with coaches and athletes from around the world. He holds a PhD in the area of Developmental Psychology from Oklahoma State University and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Houltberg’s expertise centers on emotional health within high-stress environments, which has led to multiple publications and national and international presentations. Dr. Houltberg’s research was pivotal for forming the mission of Hope Sports and supports the importance of connecting athletes to purpose that leads to healthy identity development. His ongoing research informs the current curriculum and is the basis for our developing programs. We believe emotionally healthy athletes are able to live more meaningful lives and will be better equipped to deal with the pressures that comes along with elite competition.