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FamilyCare Health Awards $10,000 Grant to Off the Sideline

PORTLAND, Ore. (October 18, 2016) – FamilyCare Health believes health happens where people live, work, and play. To give local children the opportunity to play more, the company has granted $10,000 to Off the Sideline, an organization that increases access to team sports for lower-income kids and families. 

Off the Sideline partners with community organizations including Volunteers of America, REACH CDC, and Home Forward to identify kids and families that could benefit from youth sports scholarships. Each scholarship covers up to $300 in enrollment and uniform fees per child per season. The organization has given 31 scholarships since its first award in spring 2016.

"Studies show that as sports become more expensive, it is the low-income kids who are left behind,” says Leslie Mestman, founder of Off the Sideline. “Our goal is to focus on equity and inclusion by giving them access to the same programs and sports their peers are playing. As a mother of a 14-year-old boy, I’ve seen firsthand how playing on a basketball team has helped him hone some essential life skills, foster new friendships, and boost his self-esteem."

The $10,000 grant from FamilyCare Health supports a pilot program in conjunction with Volunteers of America’s Youth Prevention Services Program, which serves youth living in five Home Forward (formerly Housing Authority of Portland) locations in Portland and East Multnomah County. The grant will pay for 26 to 40 scholarships for youth sports. 

“FamilyCare Health is pleased to support Off the Sideline’s important work of empowering youth in underserved communities to get involved with sports programs,” said Jeff Heatherington, President & CEO at FamilyCare Health. “By encouraging healthy physical activity and a love of sport, Off the Sideline is setting kids up for a lifetime of good health and wellbeing."

About FamilyCare Health

For more than 30 years, FamilyCare Health provided patient-centered health care to Oregonians. FamilyCare Health was the first health plan in Oregon to integrate models of physical and mental health and the first CCO in the tri‐county area certified by the Oregon Health Authority.

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