People with a disability are 200% more likely to be physically inactive during the week and 38% more likely to be obsessed compared to their non-disabled peers. KEEN Chicago is a volunteer-lead nonprofit organization that works to bridge this gap by providing free sports and recreational programming for kids with disabilities age 5-21 at no cost to their families.
Some of the goals of our program are to foster confidence, self-esteem and community inclusion for youth with disabilities; strengthen communities through education of volunteers; and provide families with respite and a support network.
KEEN is a small program with one staff member that serves 150 families in the Chicago area annually. The families KEEN serves face many of barriers that include: language, transportation, and economic barriers as well as medical issues, long waiting lists for programming, and lack of services that meet their needs. At KEEN, we cannot solve all of these problems for our families, but we can provide them with an accepting community and support network that provides opportunity for them to share resources with another. During sessions, while their kids exercise, parents often stay to talk and support one another. The Program Director, a social worker, works with the families during the sessions in order to figure out how their needs can be better met.
KEEN’s Sports programming is in dire need of new supplies. Our sports equipment is well-loved: our parachutes have holes, many of our basketballs don’t hold air, and numerous scooters are beyond repair. Additionally, as the population we serve changes over time and the degree of disability increases, there is a need to have more specific sensory friendly equipment available at sessions. We are submitting this proposal to The Awesome Foundation to purchase new supplies for use at programming.
Thank you for taking the time to read through our application and we hope you will support us as we continue to build
Funded by Chicago, IL (December 2018)