How do you measure an athlete’s strength? How much they can put up on the bench? How quickly they can sprint the 100m? Or swim the 400m IM? Let’s talk numbers:
9.58 – the number of seconds it took Usain Bolt to run 100m in Berlin, 2009.
243.84 – the number of seconds it took Michael Phelps to swim the 400 IM in Beijing, 2008.
15,400 – the total number of miles Lance Armstrong biked to win the Tour de France. Seven times in a row.
Now let’s talk some different numbers:
2,889,187 – the number of Jamaicans that Usain Bolt empowers every time he steps onto a track
211,000,000 – the number of Americans who watched Phelps win in Beijing.
Athletes carry more on their shoulders than their last names. They show their strength on and off the field. They empower their communities – whether those communities are their neighborhood, town, city, or country. A handful inspire the world. The United Athletes Foundation (UAF) is a non-profit organization that leverages the inspiration professional athletes give to their communities by focusing on giving back. Their mission is to improve the lives of the athletic fraternity and society in its entirety. These aren’t small goals. But these aren’t small problems. And these aren’t small athletes.
A few more numbers:
66 – the percentage of people beneath the poverty line in the Southeastern District of Baltimore.
71,008 – the number of seats in the M&T Bank Stadium in the Southeastern District of Baltimore.
52 – the number on Ray Lewis’s Ravens jersey. This will be his 17th season wearing it.
Lewis is a Baltimore institution. He sees the needs of his community first-hand when he drives to the stadium every Sunday. He’s also the Vice Chairman of the UAF. Lewis and the UAF’s President and Executive Director Reggie Howard (who played seven NFL seasons) are currently running an initiative in partnership with Consumer Education Services Inc. (CESI), Builders of Hope & the Ameri-I-Can Foundation to revitalize blighted communities. They’re developing quality, safe, affordable housing and teaching financial literacy to the new homebuyers and renters moving into the renovated houses.
The crucial aspect of this project is its emphasis on not only building houses and filling them with families, but on providing education on financial literacy so that they can improve their circumstances. It’s a project that will be paying returns for generations. A donation today will still be helping in 20 years when the kids in these families buy and fill their own homes.
The UAF have put together an all-or-nothing campaign to raise $10,000 in 45 days. As of today, they have 21 days left to raise $7,435. We show support for our communities’ athletes every time they step on the field and get to work. Let’s show our support for the work they’re doing off of it. Donate here. Then share the campaign with your friends so that they can contribute too.