National Recreation Foundation Spotlight

July 1, 2012, Department, by NRPA

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit 

Sports Buddies Grant–$100,000 

This grant is in its third year of funding to continue support of the Sports Buddies initiative to dramatically increase the number of men serving as mentors and significantly reduce the waiting time for at-risk boys seeking a mentor. Sports Buddies is a structured program schedule with male-focused activities that will garner all of the benefits of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ traditional programs while engaging in healthy recreational activities through participation in new athletic experiences. Sports Buddies Big Brothers meet their Little Brothers in a group once or twice a month to either play sports or attend a sporting event. BBBSMD plans the activities and provides all equipment, tickets, and transportation. Staff members facilitate the activity. The program is part of a larger initiative to meet the needs of Latino and African-American boys. Skills developed through mentorship help build resilience and capacity to deal with the challenges they will face, making them more likely to succeed as they make the transition through adolescence and into young adulthood. BBBSMD has been serving the needs of at-risk youth in the great metropolitan Detroit area since the 1930s.  



Adopt-A-Unit Grant–$112,500 

USTA Serves and Community Tennis Associations (CTAs) across the country will adopt military units from nearby military installations in the United States that have troops serving in Afghanistan and other locations where service members may be deployed. The Adopt-A-Unit Program, in partnership with an equipment partner, will ship packages of recreational equipment that will allow military personnel to play tennis in their off-duty hours. In providing tennis equipment and related materials to the troops, USTA hopes to provide recreational and psychological support to service members while educating communities about the importance of welcoming military families into USTA leagues and programs. Through tennis, returning service members will be able to reintegrate with the families and communities upon their return from conflict, helping them to address stress and re-connect at home. 



Camp P.O.S.T.C.A.R.D.: “Fit, Fed and Fun for Life” Grant–$30,000 

Camp P.O.S.T.C.A.R.D. (Police Officers Striving to Create and Reinforce Dreams) is a Volunteers of America camp that serves some of Maine’s most deserving fifth and sixth graders through direct involvement and mentoring with a variety of law enforcement and criminal justice professionals. The camp will implement a cognitive-based healthy living curriculum, “Fit, Fed and Fun for Life,” which will build awareness of the power of healthy eating and outdoor activity, and help support a sustained healthy lifestyle to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity.  


The National Recreation Foundation 

The National Recreation Foundation and NRPA, along with its predecessor organizations, have had a close working relationship since 1919. The foundation has supported many programs and activities through NRPA for all of those years, including the National Recreation School, the World Leisure and Recreation Association, and many other programs of the former National Recreation Association and NRPA. In more recent years, the foundation’s endowment portfolio has grown significantly, which has made possible the funding of more than $10 million of NRPA programs and activities. In addition to NRPA, the NRF supports many other not-for-profit organizations and government agencies throughout the United States.  In 2010-2011, grants were made to 36 programs for a total of just under $2 million.   

The mission is “to be a life-enhancing force on the youth of the nation by investing strategically in recreation with a special focus on programs for those who are economically, physically, or mentally disadvantaged.” The NRF gives funding priority to organizations working to coordinate efforts among local, state, and national agencies that address this mission, as well as to programs focusing on outcomes leading to significant social change. The foundation views recreation and the leisure services as a broad and holistic perspective that assists youth-at-risk by encouraging healthy lifestyles for