FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga, – Thanks to a grant from the Teammates for Kids Foundation, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation is distributing $10,000 to three local organizations that help low-income children in Atlanta improve their physical fitness. The Teammates for Kids gift is in recognition of donations that Atlanta Falcons players have made to their foundation in the past year.
With this year's $10,000 gift, the Youth Foundation will make the following grants:
$4,000 to the American Association of Adapted Sports programs to help up to 25 Atlanta Public School students (from all grade levels) with physical disabilities participate in three junior varsity sports leagues: wheelchair handball, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair football teams. * $3,000 to Moving in the Spirit to help pay for student scholarships for up to 75 students participating in the program's Stepping Stones dance program at the Ron Clark Academy, Warren Holyfield Boys and Girls Club, the Youth Education Town, and Atlanta Children's Shelter. * $3,000 to the Atlanta Track Club to help up to 400 school-age kids from high-poverty neighborhoods in Atlanta participate in the Kilometer Kids running program.
"We are grateful for this grant from Teammates for Kids, which recognizes and supports the critical need for kids in our community to increase their level of physical activity," Falcons Vice President of Sports Philanthropy and Affiliated Programs John Bare said. "This grant also underscores the powerful positive impact of collaborating to achieve common goals."
Co-founded by country music recording artist Garth Brooks in 1999, Teammates for Kids is a Colorado-based nonprofit making grants to children's charities in the areas of health, education and inner-city services. Over the past 10 years, more than 2,200 professional athletes have contributed to Teammates for Kids to support these causes, and 100 percent of the player donations go to help kids. Teammates for Kids raises additional funds from fans and sponsors and promises to triple the amount donated annually by athletes. Each year, a portion of these funds are given back into the communities of the professional athletes.
"Being involved in Teammates for Kids has been a very rewarding experience for me," said Falcons quarterback D.J. Shockley. "The health and fitness of our youth is important and we need to continue our efforts to raise awareness on the issue. I'm excited that the grant this year has provided three new programs that are focused on physical fitness."
This year's donation marks the third year of Teammates for Kids' partnership with the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation. In 2007 and 2008, Teammates for Kids donations in Atlanta supported programs at the Hall County Boys & Girls Clubs, the Sheltering Arms child-care center in Norcross, and the NFL Y.E.T. Center serving Boys & Girls Clubs members in Atlanta.
About the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation:
Investing across Georgia, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation helps nonprofit organizations reduce childhood obesity and improve youth fitness. The foundation was established in 1985 to serve as the philanthropic arm of the Atlanta Falcons. Since Arthur Blank acquired the Atlanta Falcons in 2002, the foundation has grown to be the largest owner-funded foundation in the National Football League, providing more than $16 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the state of Georgia.