GOALS has had a long-running partnership with My Day Counts, a local nonprofit that provides employment services and programs to individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. Since the early 2000s, GOALS hosted participants from My Day Counts at GOALSland facilities in order to have them engage in adaptive sports opportunities,where they would play alongside youth volunteering in the GOALS Cadets: Summer of Service program.
In Fall of 2018, GOALS launched a year-round partnership with My Day Counts, known as "GOALS Everybody Counts." Now, Everybody Counts participants have the opportunity to participate in Adaptive Sports, Nutrition Workshops, Fine Arts Sessions, and Therapeutic Gardening, all of which are facilitated by GOALS staff and supported by AmeriCorps VISTA service members.
The Everybody Counts Program operates on a 5 day a week Mondays through Fridays schedule.
A look inside Everybody Counts
In Adaptive Sports the participants engage in Basketball, bowling, tossing beach volleyballs, and throwing toy footballs and baseballs to inflatable targets. The purpose of sports is to help the participants have some physical fitness which leads to a healthier life.
In art, we give the participants a way to tap into their creativity side by having them work on an art project. This is very therapeutic for the participants because it gives them the opportunity to express themselves and learn different art styles and techniques.
In Therapeutic Gardening, the participants learn how to run and maintain a garden, which can open doors to future employment to places that do gardening. In these Therapeutic Gardening sessions, the participants learn how to plant different season fruits and vegetables and how to maintain and be patient when harvesting. The participants Harvest the fruits and vegetables they grew themselves and can take them home.
Meet The GOALS Everybody Counts Team
"In my 20 years at the GOALS organization, one of the most fulfilling parts has been the collaboration with My Day Counts. To see the joy and happiness on the participant's faces when they make a basket or score a goal is priceless."
"Connecting with Everybody Counts participants, helping them, and seeing the smile on their faces makes my job enjoyable and rewarding. GOALS' collaboration with My Day Counts has been a gold mine. I’m honored to be part of this team."
"I love working with the Everybody Counts participants because they are always happy when they see GOALS coaches. Even before entering the GOALS facilities, they burst into joy and excitement. When they finally get to the program, they are enthusiastic and eagerly participate in all of the activities that are offered."
"The Everybody Counts participants are amazing. I enjoy having the opportunity to help them gain knowledge on health, nutrition, sports, and art. Their attitudes and joy bring happiness to everyone around them. They are definitely an inspiration for all ."
"Working alongside the Everybody Counts participants has been such a great experience! being able to provide a place for them to learn how to prioritize their overall health is very motivating as it is something that they get to do together."
In Nutrition, the participants are taught how to maintain good physical health, which is essential in any job that requires a lot of movement /manual labor. These nutrition classes are all health related topics that would be of great benefit to the participants. Some classes are on: hygiene, healthy food options, benefits of fruits and vegetables, home remedies, healthy meals around the world, stress management, etc…
In these nutrition classes the participants learn healthy living habits and what to stay away from.