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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Passing on the Good with Forever Young

Steve Young is an NFL Hall of Famer and Super Bowl MVP.  His participation in sports obviously meant a lot to him, because he and his wife, Barb, in 1993 founded a non-profit organization that makes athletic, therapeutic, as well as academic opportunities available to children with physical and emotional challenges, and don't have the necessary finances to help themselves.

Steve Young, image courtesy of fortunecity.com.

Currently Forever Young focuses on the areas of Arizona, Northern California, Utah, and Ghana in Africa.  They also partner with the NFL in developing Youth Education Town Centers (YET) in each Super Bowl city.

One of their endeavors is the creation of zones to provide state-of-the-art media centers, with equipment for radio, TV film, and recording, so youths can train on professional equipment.  This includes a professional recording studio with an isolated vocal booth and digital audio mixing.  There's also a design studio, enabling the development of artistic expression through graphic design.

Image courtesy of bannerhealth.com.

There are three hospital units:  Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah; Lucille Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, California; and Banner Children's Hospital in Mesa, Arizona.  These units provide zones where children working through serious illnesses can relax, play, and build supportive relationships to help in their recoveries.

Image courtesy Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

In Ghana, they are expanding the extant schools and building new ones.  They are also providing Ghanaian youth with athletic, health, and education opportunities. Their mandate is to raise future leaders of the country, while encouraging them to keep their heritage and customs intact.  By partnering with the Komart Foundation, they are able to provide business, student, and microcredit loans.  With the African Equity Fund, they promote entrepreneurship, helping small businesses to rise out of poverty.

Forever Young representatives visit the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital's Reconstructive
Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre in Accra.  Image courtesy of Interplast/Flickr.

Forever Young also partners with other groups with similar goals, some of which include:  the Taylor Family foundation, which assists children in Northern California with life-threatening illnesses and disabilities; Wasatch Adaptive Sports, which provides special needs children with sporting and recreational activities; the Anasazi Foundation, an outdoor substance abuse treatment program also helping kids with emotional and behavioral problems; and Right to Play, an international humanitarian organization using sport and play programs to improve health and develop life skills in countries affected by war, poverty, and disease.

Image courtesy of righttoplay.org.

They also work with other non-profits, providing year-long training for leaders.  These individuals learn how to develop and implement an operation plan, and make long-range business plans.  This is offered at a minimal cost, helping to ensure the success and growth of their organizations.

This is a great organization to contribute to, whether it's sending a check or buying their stamps from Zazzle.  Steve and Barb Young do a great job passing on the opportunities they have had in their lives, and enabling others to experience some good.


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