NEW YORK, Oct. 18 -- The NBA, its players and teams unveiled a new initiative called NBA CARES, Commissioner David Stern announced today. Through NBA CARES, the league, players and teams will raise and contribute $100 million for charity, donate more than 1 million hours of hands-on volunteer service to communities worldwide, and build more than 100 places where kids can learn and play over the next five years.

This far-reaching community outreach initiative builds on the NBA’s long tradition of addressing important social issues with an emphasis on programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.

“All corporations have a social responsibility to contribute to the health, welfare and advancement of the communities in which they operate, but professional sports leagues carry a special obligation,” said Stern. “The remarkable celebrity that NBA players hold empowers them to effect change.

“For years, the NBA, our players and our teams have together and independently reached out to communities to touch the lives of people in need. Through the various initiatives of NBA CARES we will extend our efforts to support important health, education and community development causes in an affirmation of our players’ dedication to their communities.”

The year-round effort begins this month as the NBA and its teams prepare to tip off the new season by holding interactive fan events and community outreach activities in all 30 NBA cities.

The NBA will celebrate NBA CARES in November and December, with teams and players hosting coat drives, turkey giveaways and serving food at soup kitchens. During NBA All-Star, NBA CARES will feature a weeklong caravan of community events including the entire NBA Family and one of the first of 100 youth sites for children to learn and play will be unveiled in Houston. Additional sites will be created during the NBA Finals when the Eastern and Western Conference Champions build and dedicate new youth sites in their respective cities.

NBA CARES will come full circle in the offseason with a packed summer schedule of sanctioned charity games, Basketball without Borders on all four continents and the United Nations International Youth Day.

The NBA will work with a myriad of internationally-recognized youth-serving organizations, including: UNICEF; Reading Is Fundamental; Boys and Girls Clubs of America; Charities Aid Foundation; American/International Red Cross; Feed the Children; Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS; KABOOM!; Habitat for Humanity; Make-A-Wish; and Prevent Child Abuse America.

“NBA CARES will not only improve the lives of individual children, but will also serve entire communities,” said Charles J. Lyons, president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “For years, the NBA and its players have been outspoken and steadfast supporters of UNICEF's mandate to serve the world's poorest children. This new project is a visionary combination of celebrity, volunteerism and leadership.”

“This new program, which will meet a critical need in our communities, continues the long standing policy of the league and its players giving back,” said Kurt Aschermann, SVP, Chief Marketing & Development Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “They should be congratulated on a bold vision and we look forward to being a partner with them on NBA CARES.”

Through NBA CARES, the league will continue to support ongoing outreach initiatives, including, but not limited to:

  • National Book Festival
    Each year the NBA partners with the White House, First Lady Laura Bush and the Library of Congress to participate in the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

  • Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Program
    The NBA and WNBA and its teams began partnering on this initiative in 2001 to help raise money for children around the world during Halloween.
  • MLK Holiday Celebration and Black History Month Events The NBA will be partnering with Southwest Airlines to bring the National Civil Rights Museum exhibit to four local NBA team markets during the season.

  • Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA Program
    The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA aims to develop a life-long passion for the game of basketball by providing a support structure that not only encourages participation, but also makes the game fun and rewarding to the over 2 million players, coaches, officials and parents involved in the program globally.

  • HIV/AIDS Global Advocacy
    The NBA and its players will continue to support HIV/AIDS advocacy in a variety of ways, including player Public Service Announcements, leadership in the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, grassroots events around the world, and through charitable donations to foundations such as the Magic Johnson Foundation for AIDS Research.

  • Basketball without Borders
    The focus of the community outreach efforts for Basketball without Borders will be education, grassroots basketball development, product donation and HIV/AIDS awareness. Community outreach efforts will be lead by current and former NBA players attending the camp.

  • Read to Achieve
    The NBA and its family of players touch the lives of more than 50 million children a year through Read to Achieve, a campaign to help kids develop a life-long love for reading and encourage adults to read regularly with children. With the support of national partners such as RIF, Scholastic and Dell, Read to Achieve has already created more than 100 Reading and Learning Centers and more than 150 Reading Corners and donated more than 750,000 books and magazines throughout North America in an effort to provide young people with greater access to reading materials and technology.