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Indiana boys basketball team raises $21,000 for student lunches

HOPE, Ind. (WISH) — Something bigger than basketball is happening in a small town of 2,500 people. 

Whitney Budd started Students’ Fund of Hope to make sure kids can afford school lunches, a luxury that Budd did not have access to when she was in school. “This means a lot to me, I was kiddo who needed lunch account help,” Budd said.

In the five years that the Students’ Fund of Hope has been around, it has raised over $300,000. All of that money has paid off school lunches in the Hauser School Corp.

“This year, we saw around $15,000 of accounts needed to assist, which is huge for such a small community,” Budd said.

In a town that comes together over their basketball team, Budd reached out to boys basketball coach Trent Moorehead at Hauser Junior-Senior High School. It all took off from there.

“Our guys were really excited about it,” Moorehead said.

The team has been shooting free-throws all summer, with 4 players alone raising over $16,000.

Moorehead said, “It’s a chance for them to lead by serving others, and raising money that’s not going to go toward themselves, but toward families in need in our community.” 

In just under an hour and a half, the Hauser basketball players went to the free-throw line to raise money. Budd had a goal of raising $12,000 for the fundraiser; they ended up raising over $21,000.

Budd said, “This, for me, is beyond charity work. This is personal, and I know the impact they are making not only on the student, but the families as a whole. This will have a huge ripple effect.” 

Donations for the Students’ Fund of Hope can be made online.

The town of Hope is about a 50-minute drive southeast of downtown Indianapolis.