So I'm all for marketing concepts and since every store from Best Buy to the Gap had "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday", why shouldn't we have our day too? But unlike flat-screen TVs, toaster ovens, and wool V-neck sweaters, our work is so critical that we need support every single day of the year. By "we" I am speaking of the entire nonprofit sector. But I am also talking about the more than 600 organizations in the Up2Us network. These programs use 67 sports to teach more than 25,000,000 kids the kinds of skills that they will use throughout their lifetime. Whether it's self-esteem, self-control, courage, confidence or tenacity, sports inspire young people with character traits that build their potential for success as students, employees and citizens.
This year, Up2Us hired, trained and supervised nearly 325 coach-mentors to help our member organizations reach 40,000 at-risk youth, mostly in urban areas of poverty. Coaches and programs in the Up2Us network received more than 7,750 hours in training on how to fight childhood obesity, prevent crime, and promote academics. Up2Us recruited and placed 30 AmeriCorps*VISTA staff who raised an additional $1,600,000 for youth sports programming. Up2Us provided more than $500,000 in costs savings through discounted supplies and uniforms. Up2Us also launched the first national data tool for measuring the Social Return on Investment of sports-based youth development on health.
Most importantly, Up2Us has defined a field that merges youth sports with youth development to be the most effective solution to the physical, mental and social challenges facing American young people today.
Like all nonprofits, our work continues tomorrow and the next day, whether they are marketed as "Cyber" or not. So during this holiday season and throughout the year ahead, we need you to remember that there is no better purchase than helping a child live a better life.
To donate to Up2Us, please visit www.up2us.org.
Paul Caccamo Executive Director