5 Organizations That Are Moving For Good
As you know, Teny was founded on the belief that movement is good and we are big believers that using that movement for a greater cause is just one more way that we can all give back with our time and our interests. According to the International Journal for Equity in Health, organized sports programs in the community promote healthy habits in vulnerable population groups. The study concluded that participation in community sports activities increased self-esteem, self-efficacy, and motivation to set health-related goals.
Often, these community fitness programs are organized by the people, for the people.
Not only do these initiatives meet a need for more diverse, accessible, and inclusive opportunities for exercise, but they also create a social context for accountability, support, and bonding with peers.
Many of these philanthropic organizations view movement as an intrinsic part of community wellness, and as such, an important priority for charitable initiatives. A few of them have revolved entire programs around physical activity.
With the spread of accessible sports programs within communities comes more movement, more connection, and more opportunity. The need for coaching and support (in fitness and in life) has never been greater, and the long-term benefits have never been more clear.
Here are 5 nonprofits that you can get involved with that are changing the world, one step at a time:
Back on My Feet
Back on My Feet combats homelessness through the power of fitness, community support and essential employment and housing resources. The organization, operating in 14 cities nationwide, has a unique program in place designed to get people ‘back on their feet’ in no time.
They aren’t giving any handouts, though. Participants must first commit to 30 days of early morning runs before gaining access to a Workforce Development Training, which includes financial literacy classes and job skills training. The training focuses on both soft and hard skills, and offers certifications in a variety of fields through corporate partners.
The program requires drive and commitment, especially in those first 30 days, and encourages confidence, independence, and compassion. Back on My Feet has inspired thousands of volunteers and has empowered over 7.5k people to get back in the workforce, over 85% of which are able to maintain employment.
Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.
The organization offers after-school and camp programs that inspire girls to feel confident and empowered by emphasizing the connection between physical and emotional health. For girls from 3rd to 8th grade, the program focuses on building healthy relationships, and encourages working together to discuss and set goals. Trained coaches are there to help the girls become independent and critical thinkers, while learning more about themselves and what makes them unique.
Each program ends with a non-competitive 5k run that creates a sense of accomplishment and helps the girls develop a goal-oriented mindset. Most importantly, they have fun doing it!
“Achilles International, a global organization operating in 18 countries including the US, transforms the lives of people with disabilities through athletic programs and social connection.”
The history of Achilles International began in 1976 when its founder, Dick Traum, became the first amputee to complete the New York Marathon. In 1983, he founded the Achilles Track Club, of which 6 members completed the NYC Marathon that year. Since then, the organization has spread far beyond New York, operating in places like New Zealand, Australia, and even Mongolia.
They now organize specialized programs that serve wounded military personnel and veterans, as well as children with disabilities. Their signature race, Hope and Possibility, takes place in several cities worldwide. They don’t stop at running, though; the TriAchilles Team, which includes biking and swimming, allows participants to compete in mainstream races against able-bodied peers.
Bent on learning
Bent on Learning uplifts youth through yoga and mindfulness education in the classroom.
The organization began in 2001 with the goal of bringing yoga to the youth, in order to help students learn about the importance of physical health, mindfulness and emotional well-being. Since then, Bent on Learning has taught over 22,000 students from Pre-K to 12th grade in 76 schools across New York City.
The teachers tailor their classes for the specific needs of their students and also offer community classes for staff and parents. The organization also offers a 95-hour Children’s Yoga Teacher Training program with a focus on childhood development, positive behavioral management, and trauma-sensitive yoga.
Not only do they teach physical movements, but they also include breathing exercises and some concepts of philosophy in their classes. According to the kids, it’s improved their concentration, emotional regulation, and positive relationship to their learning spaces.
Project Fit America
Project Fit America is a national nonprofit organization that creates and administers exemplary fitness in education programming in elementary and middle schools.
The PFA offers two-year support through educational programs and equipment designed to help selected schools teach physical education unassisted year after year. Sponsored uniquely by hospitals and healthcare agencies, the PFA has helped over 1,000 schools in 46 states over the last 30 years with their programs.
Children who benefit from the programs develop skills of leadership, communication, teamwork, cooperation, and understanding. They learn how to set and reach goals for themselves, improving self-esteem as a result. The physical activity helps increase serotonin levels, which improves focus, mental clarity, and productivity.
With school teachers citing health and fitness awareness in children as an important factor in their students’ future success, Project Fit America has certainly made an impact in countless lives.
Consider supporting a movement-focused nonprofit near you
While philanthropic movement organizations are hardly new, they are becoming more and more valued in a world where unhealthy habits are far too prevalent.
Physical activity is an individual process, but one that can bring people together at the same time. Supporting sport and movement initiatives is one way to collaborate, uplift, and celebrate those of all ages and abilities in your community.
Check out the websites of the nonprofits mentioned above, or search for one in your neck of the woods. Let us know what you find!
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