Children with disabilities are often on the sidelines of team sports, but at Team Up For 1 (TU41) a child becomes a member of the team! TU41 engages the sports world by matching children living with challenges to teams from every competitive level-college, high school and professional. We also provide a variety of programs that promote the values of inclusion, teamwork, education and fun. A $1,000 investment sponsors a child's participation for 1 full year!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, disability affects approximately 61 million or nearly 1 in 4 (26%) people in the United States. Children with disabilities, in particular, experience stigma and social isolation in all aspects of their public life. Being a member of a team can foster a sense of connectivity, and promote long-term health and well-being.
Children are matched with teams for a min. of 2 years based on geographic proximity, communication needs, mobility, the child's preferences for a particular sport and other relevant factors. Each child is honored at an official MVP (Adoption) Ceremony. TU41 has placed 78 children nationwide with teams ranging from high school to college or professional. Through TU41, children and families are able to set aside their heavy burdens and receive compassion and encouragement from the TU41 community.
Understanding the relationship between the way people function and how they participate in society and making sure everyone has the same opportunities to participate in every aspect of life to the best of their abilities are concepts that are at the core of TU41's work. Being a part of a team presents substantial benefits to a child -- including increased confidence and a feeling of belonging. We have also found that team members become more empathetic toward others after the TU41 experience.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).