SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Put Me In! Board of Directors and Leadership Team are proud to announce the launch of Put Me In! (“PMI!”) - a new nonprofit corporation that will provide financial aid grants ($1,000 per year) to Children of Incarcerated Parents (“CIPs”) to increase their access to sports. PMI! will launch in the San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose metropolitan areas.
PMI! addresses the economic opportunity divide for participation in sports by CIPs. Sports provide numerous, clearly defined benefits for children and are scientifically proven to bring life-long positive impacts to a child’s life, including increased self-esteem and self-confidence, improved social skills, sportsmanship and teamwork, and many more. The benefits of sports are particularly impactful for CIPs, who face significantly greater risks of mental health problems and other challenges as a direct result of parental incarceration. However, opportunities for participation in sports are frequently out of reach for CIPs and system-impacted families. An economic opportunity divide often prevents participation in sports by CIPs, as 2 in 3 system-impacted families have difficulty meeting basic financial needs, yet financing an individual child’s participation in sports can cost families hundreds of dollars per year.
Put Me In! invests to close that opportunity divide for CIPs. PMI! funds recurring annual financial aid grants of $1,000 per year per enrolled CIP to support participation in sports. PMI! targets enrolling CIPs during middle school and will support them through high school. PMI! identifies CIPs and their caregivers through referrals and collaboration with community-based organizations (“CBOs”), government agencies, and other non-profits serving CIPs and system-impacted families.
PMI! was founded in 2020 by Matt Blodgett, a technology investor and social entrepreneur based in San Francisco. PMI! was born from Matt's personal experience, where participation in competitive sports helped him overcome challenges associated with parental incarceration. Matt also serves as PMI!’s Executive Director.
“Put Me In! is built from my own experience as a CIP, where a small-town community enabled me to ‘get on the field’ and play sports. The impacts of sports – increased self-esteem, personal resiliency, recurring exposure to positive adult mentors – were instrumental in overcoming the mental health challenges associated with parental incarceration,” said Blodgett.
Robyn Glaser, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs for the Kraft Group, is PMI!’s Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder. “We are excited to launch and look forward to ensuring that Children of Incarcerated Parents have access to the tremendous benefits and outcomes of participating in sports. As our board member Alyssa Tamboura says, ‘While CIPs may be forced to grow up faster than other children, PMI! will make sure that they always have a chance to play,’” said Glaser.
“We are grateful for the incredible ecosystem of nonprofits, agencies, and CBOs in the Bay Area that serve and bring opportunities to CIPs, their caregivers, and system-impacted families,” Blodgett said. “We are thankful for their guidance and support, and we are excited to build long-term relationships with these extraordinary organizations and people.”
PMI! is launching with a team that includes four former CIPs on its leadership team and board, as well as its Athlete Ambassador, Julian Edelman, a Bay Area native and Super Bowl LIII MVP. “My favorite memories from childhood all revolve around sports and my teammates that I got to share them with. Through those years, I had teammates who were personally impacted by parental incarceration or other unfortunate situations at home. I’ve seen firsthand the positive impact that having a team around you, and a coach to rely on, had on their lives, on and off the field. That’s why I’m so excited to help Put Me In! increase access to sports for kids who are facing those same challenges today,” said Edelman.
Learn more about Put Me In! at https://putmein.org/.
About Put Me In!
Put Me In! is a San Francisco-based nonprofit. PMI!’s mission is to increase access to recreational and competitive sports for Children of Incarcerated Parents (“CIPs”) in the San Francisco Bay Area by providing recurring annual financial aid grants ($1,000 per year), beginning in middle school and continuing through high school.