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Voices of Caring – TASK

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Logo courtesy: Team Activities for Special Kids (TASK)

Logo courtesy: Team Activities for Special Kids (TASK)

TASK

Team Activities for Special Kids (TASK) is a nonprofit 501(c) 3, and St. Louis’ only year-round instructional sports program that provides athletic and social opportunities to kids with special needs. The mission of the program is to help build self-esteem and skills in children with special needs.

TASK began in the summer of 1996 with a tee ball program involving 26 athletes with special physical and/or mental needs. Since then we’ve evolved into a year-round sports program and currently offer a variety of sports to over 1000 athletes.

Team Sports offered include: basketball, kickball, tee-ball, softball, soccer, and volleyball. Other activities offered include: golf, bowling, aerobics, yoga, zumba, boot camp, interval/weight training, ball skills, kids in motion, art, cooking, game night, step class, and TASK Act (Adapted Coordination Training).

TASK also offers one-week summer camps during the summer months and a social club night for all age groups on Friday nights each month.

TASK is run by a group of dedicated volunteers from a variety of backgrounds. With so much expertise in a variety of specialties, these volunteers are able to give the athletes a wide range of support to help them become successful.

Having a child with special needs affects every member of the family. One of the most valuable aspects of TASK is the network of support it provides for the parents and siblings of children with special needs. Parents are able to discuss concerns, share ideas and identify with other parents in similar or not-so-similar situations.

Anyone who has ever witnessed a child standing alone on the sideline, waiting to be picked for a team, understands why TASK exists. So does anyone who has ever been bullied or teased for being different.

Since our founding in 1996, TASK has believed in the potential and worth of every child,
particularly those with special needs. Our goal is to help them feel like an important,
contributing member of their team and our community.

We do it by:
• Focusing on skill development, rather than competition. Every TASK athlete is a winner!
• Adapting our programs to each participant’s special needs. No one is turned away.
• Offering sports and recreational activities that appeal to a wide range of interests.

To accommodate the growing demand for our services, the time came to create a home of our own. TASK reached a major milestone in February 2012, when we purchased property in Fenton, MO.

The property provides:

• An accessible, safe and wonderful place that will enable us to double our programs and increase service from 1000 to as many as 5,000 of our region’s participants with special needs each year.

• A positive, welcoming environment where youth with a wide range of abilities can be encouraged to reach their potential and to just be themselves.

• A secure, adaptive facility where St. Louis area parents can feel comfortable leaving their children for sports and social activities

We serve the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. We provide year-round programming to 1000+ participants with no exception due to ability or income level. TASK participants include individuals challenged by physical impairments, visual impairments, hearing impairments, mental disabilities, Down syndrome, behavior concerns, seizure disorders, attention deficit disorders, and/or autism.

When children with special needs join a TASK sports team or social club, good things happen. They develop new skills. They gain confidence in their abilities. They are not afraid to try so they try harder. They discover what it feels like to win and more importantly belong.

That’s the good news.
The more humbling reality is that for every child with special needs we serve, there are at least five or six more that could benefit equally from our services.
We have completed Phase I of our capital campaign and are focusing on Phase 2: making the building and land fit our needs so that we can continue to grow our programs to reach more youth with special needs.

In addition to generous donations from individuals, corporations and foundations, TASK raises support from our TASK Fundraisers:

TASK Cornhole Tournament
2013 Date: Sunday, September 1, 2013

TASK Golf Tournament
2013 Date: Saturday, September 14, 2013

TASK Dance
2013 Date: Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Quinn Family Foundation Rock ‘N’ Roll -St. Louis Marathon and 1/2
2013 Date: October 27, 2013

We also participate in the St. Louis Auto Gala and host our annual Trivia night in January and participate in the Walk, Run and Roll during the spring months.

We need your financial support to accomplish Phase 2 of our capital campaign.

For additional information or to visit our facility contact:

Deb Fruend
Executive Director
636.343.8275
debf@tasksport.org
http://www.tasksports.org

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