Baton Rouge, LA – On June 16th, 2021, in preparation for the September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance, Athletes for Hope (AFH) joined Baton Rouge-area First Responders and students at LA Key Academy for the first of several inclusive emergency preparedness events. These overall volunteer efforts will pay tribute to the individuals lost and injured in the attacks, as well as honor the First Responders and the many others who have risen in service to defend freedom.
This year, Athletes for Hope’s 9/11 sponsored activities will focus on emergency preparedness, developing and implementing solutions that ensure that children and adults with limited resources are able to receive the help they need should calamity strike. Volunteers with intellectual and developmental disabilities will work alongside AFH volunteers without disabilities to inform others about the need for disaster preparedness that includes all members of communities.
“Every emergency plan needs to be inclusive of people with disabilities. People with disabilities are often disproportionately affected by disaster but unfortunately their needs are rarely considered in organizational emergency plans and activities,” said AFH CEO, Ivan Blumberg, “September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance gives us the opportunity to change this dangerous pattern. We can turn a day of tragedy into a day of doing good by establishing emergency plans that account for the needs of people with disabilities who are important members of every community.”
In collaboration with Baton Rouge Fire Department, LSU & Southern University student-athletes and LA Key Academy, this first event focused on teaching kids about fire safety and emergency preparedness while also offering health and wellness activities.
“Field day at LA Key Academy was a great initiative to intertwine physical fitness and emergency preparedness for youth. The kids were so excited to play alongside LSU and Southern student athletes as well as learn about fire safety from Baton Rouge Fire Department.”- Aubrion James, AFH Intern & Southern Softball Alum
AmeriCorps, the federal agency that leads the September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance, selected The Arc and a small group of other organizations to plan and participate in volunteer projects in honor of the victims and first responders of the September 11th attacks and our brave service members.
Athletes for Hope (AFH) is a public charity-a nonprofit 501 ©(3) organization founded in 2007 by several high profile, philanthropically-minded athletes such as Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Mia Hamm, Jeff Gordon, Warrick Dunn, Alonzo Mourning, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
The Arc advocates for and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy, and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of over 600 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with IDD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.
LA Key Academy serves the 1 in 5 children with dyslexia in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas. Their mission is to serve the community at large, to educate and remediate children with dyslexia in an evidence-based curriculum and to stand as an excellent model and resource for other schools and communities.