To conclude this year's "10 Days of Giving," the Cleveland Browns are proud to announce the recipients of the third annual First and Ten Grants program, presented by Bridgestone. The initiative, launched in October, contributed a total of $20,000 to 10 well-deserved organizations that endeavor to make a difference in Northeast Ohio.
Winner ($5,000 grant): Youth Opportunities Unlimited
Second selection ($3,000 grant): Adaptive Sports Ohio
Finalists ($1,500 grant): Daddy Saturday Foundation, ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland, Youngstown Blue Coats, BrandNew Community, Voices for Children, Northeast Ohio Women's Sports Alliance, A Kid Again, Destination Dream Foundation
Following a nomination process and evaluation by panel members, the non-profit organizations were selected based on their focus on education, youth football, social equality, and volunteerism. Fans had the opportunity to nominate their desired local non-profit organizations to be considered for the grants.
The Browns and Bridgestone partnered to create the grants to further their mission of supporting non-profit organizations, people, and projects that improve Ohio neighborhoods by providing them with opportunities to advance and extend the meaningful work that they do throughout the year.
Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to #give10 and help their communities by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community. To date, more than 3 million hours of volunteering have been pledged through First and Ten. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team's website and by sharing their stories with #give10.
Throughout "10 Days of Giving," Browns players, coaches and staff members have shared unique stories about community initiatives and contributions as part of the team's yearlong commitment to education, youth football, social justice, and inspiring others to support their communities through the First and Ten volunteer movement.
In addition to the team's First and Ten volunteering efforts, "10 Days of Giving" encompasses the Cleveland Browns Foundation's "Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day" Network and Browns Youth Football. The "Stay in the Game!" Network is focused on promoting equal educational opportunities for all students and school districts in Ohio, as well as combatting chronic absenteeism, while Browns Youth Football remains devoted to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football throughout the state by helping inspire a love of the game.
About the recipients of the First and Ten grants program, presented by Bridgestone:
Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) is a nonprofit workforce development organization based in Cleveland, Ohio. For over 40 years Y.O.U. has served teens and young adults ages 14-24 living in under-resourced areas in Northeast Ohio. Its mission is to prepare teens and young adults to become economically self-sufficient contributors to building Northeast Ohio's educated, skilled and inclusive workforce.
Adaptive Sports Ohio was founded in 2009 by Chief Executive Officer, Lisa Followay. Adaptive Sports Ohio's mission is to remove barriers to ensure that individuals with physical disabilities have a chance to play and utilize sport to elevate ability and empower futures. In the 11 years since the organization's inception, Adaptive Sports Ohio has grown to serve hundreds of physically impaired youth and adults across the state through an abundance of competitive and recreational sports.
Founder Justin Batt aims to disrupt fatherhood with intentionality, by creating intentional fathers who raise good kids who become great adults. He founded Daddy Saturday in his own backyard with his four children, and it's grown into a national movement engaging fathers across multiple channels, including stadium events like the Fatherhood Festival, partnerships with groups like the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village, NFL Alumni Association and national sponsors, social media, the Daddy Saturday book, a mobile app that includes crypto, NFT's and gamification, a podcast, coaching, speaking, and an international 501(c) (3) foundation, through which Justin plans to impact 10 million fathers in the next 10 years.
The ACE Mentor Program is a not-for-profit organization that helps to prepare high school students for careers in architecture, engineering, and construction. Through mentoring by industry professionals, our mission to engage and enlighten high school students is achieved and supports their continued advancement in the industry.
The mission is simple. In America, nobody should freeze to death. We bridge the gap between the shelters and homeless camps in the winter. We march out into the woods in late evening hours looking for homeless. We give them coats, hats, gloves, sleeping bags, boots, tents, tarps, and socks. We look even harder for our Veterans. They're usually found helping other people. We do this with no questions asked, no middleman, and we are all volunteers.
BrandNew Youth Mentoring's mission is to create a village of support and love for youth in Cleveland. Through mentoring, exposure, and community service BrandNew is impacting the lives of young people. Tapping into the greatness that resides within, a "BrandNew Community" will emerge!
Voices for Children is a non-profit organization that represents neglected and abused children in court to make sure each child gets what is in their best interests and desires. This trained volunteer-based organization gathers information of every child they work with to present this information to the judge who will decide where the child will live. Voices for Children works directly with each child to ensure that their best interests and desires are met in court.
The Northeast Ohio Women's Sports Alliance (NOWSA) expands awareness for adult community-based sports and offers supportive services for individual athletes, teams, their coaches and staff. NOWSA was founded on the belief that women are stronger together and develop important life skills and relationships through sport. Athletic participation should not have to end after high school or college graduation, so whether you want to be an athlete, coach, or volunteer, NOWSA strives to empower adult women to pursue the route of their choosing and minimize their barriers to entry.
The Northern Ohio Chapter of A Kid Again is a Children's Charity in Cleveland Ohio honored to serve families who are raising children living with life-threatening illnesses. We do so by providing cost-free, fun-filled destination events throughout the year that we call Adventures.
Destination Dream Foundation is a non-profit organization that will take a multi-disciplinary approach to neighborhood revitalization. Cleveland has many existing youth workforce development programs that suffer from low attendance due to poor resource coordination and lack of effective social media marketing. Destination Dream's programming has effectively utilized social media and word of mouth to facilitate 100% youth attendance and participation. Destination Dream Foundation effectively meets youth and participants where they are at to empower them based on their own existing goals and needs
About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back:
The Browns Give Back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team's signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/brownsgiveback.
Education – The Cleveland Browns are dedicated to improving the quality of education for students in Ohio by making investments that keep kids in school every day so they can succeed, highlighted by the "Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day" Network. The "Stay in the Game!" Network is a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism. The team engages local school districts and promotes quality education by using attendance data and feedback from families to build a school-going culture, uncover and reduce common barriers to attendance and support engagement opportunities for students to thrive. In the 2020-21 school year, the "Stay in the Game!" Network will partner with 14 school districts, benefitting nearly 90,000 students in Ohio. An adaptation of the "Get 2 School, Stay In The Game!" Network, the name change reflects the current environment where schools may not necessarily be able to host in-school learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter the circumstances, the "Stay in the Game!" Network will continue to encourage and support students to maintain a strong educational-going mindset to keep learning, every day, aligned with its overall goal to help end chronic absenteeism and provide all students equal opportunities to be successful. To learn more visit, visit Get2School.org.
Youth Football – The Cleveland Browns are committed to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football throughout Northeast Ohio with year-round programming for players, coaches, officials, and parents. Through camps, clinics and other initiatives, the Browns' goal is to promote healthy, social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development of youth by enhancing opportunities for youth football participation and education.
First and Ten – Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to #give10 and help their communities by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community. To date, more than 2.75 million hours of volunteering have been pledged through First and Ten. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team's website and by sharing their stories with #give10.