TEAM Belong Awards
Our annual, national, interfaith TEAM Belong Awards (formerly the Open Hearts Awards) are cash grants up to $1,000 available to:
- houses of faith
- religious schools/faith formation programs
of all traditions, across the U.S., to help fund projects that make it possible for individuals of all abilities to participate in their worshiping communities and religious schools/faith formation programs.
The two divisions of TEAM Belong Awards are:
- The JUNIOR TEAM Belong Awards for children and youth ages 5-18
- The TEAM Belong Awards for adult applicants
Watch a Junior TEAM Belong Award Winning Video:
Junior TEAM Below Awards:
- Are submitted by children and youth ages 5-18.
- Parents and religious leaders may help to facilitate Junior TEAM Belong Award applications or children can submit applications on their own.
- The Different Gifts, Same Spirit series of lesson plans are available on our website or from Loyola Press to prepare children and youth to submit applications.
- Junior applicants create and submit a video, an essay with photos or original artwork about how their planned access project will help welcome individuals of all abilities into their house of faith or religious school/faith formation program.
- Junior applications may be for access projects in their:
- house of faith or
- religious school/faith formation program
- Annual deadline is October 1st.
TEAM Belong Awards:
- Are submitted by adults.
- Adult applicants create and submit a video or an essay with photos about how their planned access project will help welcome individuals of all abilities into their house of faith or religious school/faith formation program.
- Adult applications may be for access projects in their:
- houses of faith or
- religious schools/faith formation
- Deadline is October 1st.
- To be considered for an award, videos and essays must use “People First Language”. This means words are chosen with care to promote dignity and respect and to focus on the person first rather than their disability. For example, say “a person with epilepsy” NOT “an epileptic.” Say “a man who uses a wheelchair” NOT “a wheelchair bound man.”
- Do not use the word “handicapped.” Say “accessible parking,” “accessible seating area,” “accessible washroom,” etc.
Click Here to view a winning essay.
Annual Application Deadline: October 1st.
Submit nominations electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEAM Belong Award winners are announced in December
TEAM Belong Award Report
TEAM Belong Award winners are required to report on the use of their grant.
Watch a Junior TEAM Belong Award Report
Click Here to view a written TEAM Belong Award Report.
Download TEAM Belong Award Application Packets
Applications for access projects in a house of faith:
Applications for access projects in a religious school/faith formation program: