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Independent Voice

TEAM Dixon Looking for New Buddies

Jun 05, 2024 10:57AM ● By Allison Latham, Dixon Montessori Charter School 8th Grade Student
Image courtesy of TEAM Dixon

DIXON, CA (MPG) - Calling all kids ages 12 and up who are looking to help special needs kids! TEAM Dixon is a non-profit organization that helps bring special needs kids together with a buddy to help them participate in sports, act in plays, and do other fun activities like arts and crafts.

The “TEAM” in TEAM Dixon stands for “Together Everyone Always Matter.”  The organization strives to make sure all special needs kids are included.

TEAM Dixon was established in 2013, when Erica Hurtado saw what the community needed after watching the Challengers Baseball League for special needs kids as she is a parent of a special needs child. Not only were the special needs kids having fun, but the parents found a new community to connect with one another.

The buddies in TEAM Dixon are able to help a special needs child do something that they may not be able to do without them.

“My goal is to keep building an inclusive community,” she said. Erica has been involved in TEAM Dixon for 11 years and is helping create bonds between buddies and special needs children that will last forever.

Becoming a buddy is a great way to get involved in the community. Buddies are volunteers who help the special needs kids stay safe but also feel included.

TEAM Dixon hosts many events throughout the year. Some of those events include Challengers Baseball League, Bowling Night, and Summer Swim. In order to become a buddy, you have to be ages 12 and up. To sign up, you have to go to TEAM Dixon’s website and fill out the “Buddy Application.” This form will help leaders pair buddies with someone with the same interests.

Erica is a huge part of TEAM Dixon and if it wasn’t for her, TEAM Dixon wouldn’t be successful. Erica said that it makes her proud, not just of herself, but because of the community they have built.  She is proud of all the teens and what they do for TEAM Dixon. She reported that she loves it there and there is still good in the world. 

TEAM Dixon’s mission is to give opportunities to special needs kids to gain confidence and support in an inclusive community. It also gives opportunities to middle and high schoolers to show their love and kindness.

To support the mission of their organization, TEAM Dixon gets donations from businesses and sponsors in Dixon and also hosts an annual fundraiser.  This year, the concert and auction will be held at Green River Brewery in Winters, and they will be hosting the band, Vinyl Ride.  It will be held on September 7.  There will be games and a bounce house for the families and there will be a performance by TEAM Dixon kids. 

A great way to see if you want to join the community of TEAM Dixon is to come out to summer swim with an experienced buddy and see what TEAM Dixon is all about. Their first Swim Friday is June 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. and swim nights will run through July. TEAM Dixon has a great group of buddies and volunteers but are always looking to expand the list to support their important role in the community.

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