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photo: Tim Carlson
Olympian Matt Reed Joins USOC Team for Tomorrow Initiative
Olympic triathlete Matt Reed (Boulder, Colo.) is one of 10 athletes serving as ambassadors for the United States Olympic Committee's Team for Tomorrow Fund, a humanitarian relief effort through which U.S. athletes offer assistance and support to people around the world who are in need.
The athlete ambassadors will serve as captains of Team for Tomorrow on behalf of the entire U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams. The select group of athletes will act as advocates and champions of the effort, educating their U.S. teammates and spreading awareness about Team for Tomorrow's causes. Humanitarian relief and assistance through the program will come in the form of financial donations, volunteerism, disaster recovery support, advocacy and other contributions to communities.
"The Olympic Movement is the greatest force for hope and opportunity in our world today," said USOC Chairman Peter Ueberroth. "Team for Tomorrow was initiated by our Olympians and Paralympians as a means to continue spreading the Olympic Ideals of peace, understanding, tolerance and harmony around the world. America's Olympic and Paralympic athletes have expressed a profound interest in social and civic responsibility. They are looking for ways to make a difference in the world and to give something back."
In May, Team for Tomorrow saw its first action in the donation of 1,000 disaster relief tents to victims of the devastating earthquake in China's Sichuan Province that left approximately 5 million people homeless. Now, Team for Tomorrow is organizing Olympic and Paralympic athletes in a nationwide effort to work with families in need in the United States by donating service hours to Habitat for Humanity. The athletes will donate their time to Habitat for Humanity local affiliates in their hometown areas, building houses in partnership with families in need and giving back to their local communities throughout the United States.
"I am fortunate to be living the American dream. I am proud every day to race for the red, white and blue," said Reed. "Part of my American dream is owning my own home, where I can raise my children and hang out with my family. I want to help people have that place to call home. Whether it is from natural disaster, some bad luck or just needing some help to get started, many families are in need. I am thrilled to be working with Team for Tomorrow and Habitat for Humanity and helping families achieve the goal of having a home.
"I am hoping to work with my local chapter this winter and am looking forward to picking up the hammer and helping a family build their American dream. Every goal starts with a dream and then lots of hard work."
Habitat for Humanity is a homebuilding organization that works with community groups and volunteers to build simple, decent homes in partnership with people in need who are living in substandard conditions. Habitat relies on donations of labor, building materials and land to help keep the cost of the houses down.
Homeowners are selected based on their need for adequate housing, their ability to repay a no-profit mortgage and their willingness to partner by helping to build their home and the homes of others in the program. Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 250,000 houses around the world in nearly 90 countries where it works.
"Habitat for Humanity is grateful to the U.S. Olympic Committee for selecting Habitat for Humanity as a participant in its Team for Tomorrow program," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity. "We are hopeful that these Olympians and Paralympians, who inspire the nation with exceptional performances in their sports, will also inspire their communities to get involved with the fight against poverty housing."
These initial, significant efforts mark the first steps for Team for Tomorrow. Additional activities will follow, including involvement in other domestic and international relief causes. The USOC will continue Team for Tomorrow and lead a similar initiative in 2010 on behalf of the 2010 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams.
Joining Reed as the Team for Tomorrow Athlete Ambassadors for the 2008 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams are Cheri Blauwet, Paralympic Track & Field; Eli Bremer, Modern Pentathlon; Crystl Bustos, Softball; Corey Cogdell, Shooting; Anna Cummins, Rowing; Dave Denniston, Paralympic Swimming; Jennie Finch, Softball; Nancilea Foster, Diving; Donny Robinson, BMX Cycling.
For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at (719) 866-4529.