CHJS Crisis Response Fund

Coaches play a powerful role in community recovery.


Every day, coaches play a monumental role in their communities. This is especially true in the wake of a tragedy.

But coaches say they are overwhelmed. They hold space for grief and grieving. They listen. They share resources. They provide reassurance. Yet, it feels like community violence, racial injustice, environmental disasters, and school shootings are relentless. Our medical and therapeutic communities can’t absorb the size of all this pain on their own. The responsive community simply isn’t big enough.

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Over the past few years, several communities have looked to CHJS for help to give coaches the tools, resources and support they need to be part of a more complete ecosystem of community recovery. To offer the magical combination of things that we all need when we’re in pain – a safe, relationally rich environment; the chance to move our bodies; and opportunities to engage in manageable challenges that build our resilience.

We work with local community organizations to help them create space for coaches to be in community with each other and to learn some basic strategies for providing the best support possible.

“Sport is naturally structured to provide relational dosing that is much more therapeutically sensitive than traditional therapy. If we make coaches 5% more trauma informed, or developmentally sensitive, we will have more therapeutic impact on children than if we trained an entire new cohort of trauma therapists.”  -Bruce Perry, MD, PHD.

This approach has seen powerful results. Following the death of ten people from a mass shooting event in a Buffalo supermarket, we worked in partnership with Project Play of Western New York to offer a series of sessions to coaches where we gave them the space to grieve, a deeper understanding of what happens to us when we experience trauma or adversity, and how they can use their sport to help support the young people on their teams deal with their experiences. “Everything resonated deeply with me,” said one attendee. “I am still talking about it.” Another coach told us, “I walked out lighter than when I walked in.” 

This kind of work should never be put on hold for funding. It should never wait for the people with resources to decide whether or not it’s tragic enough for their support.

That’s why we’re asking for your help in creating a pool of resources that we’re able to deploy when asked. Your support will allow us to: 

  • bring resources to a community in need; 
  • work hand in hand with a trusted, local entity to educate coaches about the impact of adversity and the power of sport to heal; 
  • activate our partners who provide best in class curriculum and support tools, and;
  • stand with our fellow coaches in their pain.


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Let’s build the healing-centered sport movement. Together.