WBZ Cares is our public service initiative focused on local non-profit entities, events, and causes. Each month WBZ NewsRadio 1030 will select an organization to profile.
Through news stories, public serviceannouncements and guest appearances on NightSide with Dan Rea, we will show the hard work and dedication of our local charities.
WBZ NewsRadio has been a trusted voice in New England for more than 90 years and we would like to work with our listeners to improve the lives of New Englanders in need.
If you would like your charity to be considered, please send us an email.
THIS MONTH'S CHARITY
WBZ NewsRadio 1030 is proud to support Team IMPACT of Quincy, MA, a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes.
ABOUT Team IMPACT
Team IMPACT (TI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses through the power of team. Core to their model is harnessing the power of teamwork by matching these courageous kids with college athletic teams. Team IMPACT children are drafted onto local college athletic teams and, to the greatest extent possible, become an official member of the team for the duration of the relationship through to graduation.
The simple but powerful concept of matching sick kids with college athletic teams has been around for decades. Going as far back as 1960 when football players from Middlebury College started "Picking up Butch", athletic teams have been adopting kids onto their team to the benefit of all parties and participants. For many years this great sports tradition has been profoundly improving the quality of life for countless numbers of courageous kids, as well as providing life lessons and perspective to athletes that cannot be learned in the classroom. In the spring of 2011, Co-Founder Jay Calnan enlisted the support of Co-Founder Dan Kraft and a group of former classmates and business associates with the intention of leveraging their network in order to harness the enduring power of a team and the potential impact on children, their families, and college athletic teams.
Since their inception, Team IMPACT has created relationships that have enhanced the lives of thousands of courageous children and touched the lives of tens of thousands of student athletes across the country. The team behind Team IMPACT is honored and inspired to continue and expand the long-standing tradition of athletes paying tribute to something that is far greater than themselves; the ability to come together, serve the community and support each and every member of the team through adversity both on and off the field.
The Kids: Children diagnosed with serious or chronic illnesses sometimes need to be reminded of how strong they really are. Their goal is to help these children and their families experience life beyond illness by increasing a sense of normalcy, optimism, confidence, and belonging, combined with the thrill of college sports.
- Children ages 5-16
- Diagnosed with a life-threatening or chronic illness
- Required treatment and/or extended hospital stays has affected their social relationships
- Could benefit from a boost, both socially and psychologically, provided by a team of support
The Teams: From basketball and football, to curling and synchronized swimming, athletic teams across NCAA Divisions I, II and III become all-star teammates and role models to their youngest team member. Athletes develop new outlooks on courage, commitment, and resilience, and are inspired long after the game ends.
- College athletic teams of any sport
- NCAA Divisions I, II and III, and NAIA
- Close in location to where an eligible child lives or is being treated
- Willing and able to commit for at least two years
- Lots of enthusiasm and excitement for bringing on a young team member
Team IMPACT children are diagnosed with a wide variety of life-threatening and chronic illnesses, yet a common denominator is the impact their diagnosis has had on their quality of life. Each case is submitted to the Team IMPACT Eligibility Committee for review prior to program participation. The committee looks for children:
- Between 5-15 years of age
- Diagnosed with a life-threatening or chronic illness that has resulted in treatment and/or extended hospital stays within the past 3 years
- Who, as a result of their diagnosis, could benefit from a boost to improve their quality of life both socially and psychologically
Choosing a Team
In order to make the best match possible, they take into consideration a number of key factors:
- Finding a team that is located close to where the family lives or where the child is being treated is important. This allows the family to conveniently get to campus, in addition to allowing the student athletes to do activities off-campus with the child.
- Identifying the team that is the most enthusiastic about drafting a TI child onto their roster and is committed to providing the child with consistent and active socialization both on and off campus.
Participating Team IMPACT teams are fully trained on how to be the best teammates and role models they can be to their youngest teammate. Team Training focuses on understanding the child and family’s situation, the impact they have on the child’s quality of life, and maximizing the value of the relationship.
The Draft Day is when the team will officially ‘draft’ the child onto their roster making him/her an official team member. The team plans their individual draft day and can consist of signing ceremonies, press conferences, handing out an official team jersey, a locker in the locker room, and being announced before the start of a game. More than anything, the Draft Day marks that from that point forward, the child is an official member of the team.
Through a structured ‘relationship management methodology’ they cultivate each relationship to ensure that meaningful bonds are formed and that we are measurably improving the quality of life for these children and their families.
They manage each relationship through active and consistent communication with the participating family and team. Each relationship is assigned a Relationship Manager who will ensure it is maintained to the highest quality possible from Draft Day through to Graduation.
It is their belief that graduating and transitioning back into their typical routine will lead to the best long-term benefits for the child. It is typical for each relationship to last 2-3 years but as each child is different, the timing of graduation varies for each relationship.
Graduation is celebrated similarly to the Draft Day and focuses on the child’s accomplishments and impact they have had on their team. Once graduated, the child can still maintain a relationship with their team, but will join their fellow graduated teammates as an alumnus. As a Team IMPACT alumnus, the child will always be affiliated with their team but will allow the team to draft another deserving child onto their roster.
Overall Program Outcomes
Through Team IMPACT, each child should experience three key outcomes:·
- Increased optimism
- Growth in confidence
- Fostered sense of belonging
Student Athletes experience:
- College athletes gain an increased empathy for other people as a result of participating in the program, and see the world as much larger than themselves.
- Student athletes have a deeper appreciation for challenges faced by others and will be civic minded regarding their roles and responsibilities in their communities in the future.
- Student athletes become civic-minded and engaged in their communities following graduation.
Short Term Outcomes
After participating in Team IMPACT for 1 season/year:
- Children will demonstrate progress towards their individual milestones.
- Parents will report their children have positively connected with their teams and feel a sense of belonging.
- Coaches will report an increase in team connectedness.
- Collegiate Student Athlete Leaders will report an increase in empathy for other people.
As a result of participating in Team IMPACT for 2 seasons/years:
- Children will have an improved quality of life as demonstrated through their increased optimism, confidence and feeling of belonging, which will help them to better accept their medical circumstances and be engaged in their daily social interactions.
- Families will feel connected and supported, giving them a sense of normalcy and experience an overall lessening of stress for the entire family unit.
- Collegiate Student Athletes will have a deeper insight into and appreciation for the challenges faced by others and they will be civic-minded regarding their roles and responsibilities in their communities in the future.
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