Founding and Early Days (2019)
In 2019, Daniel Caridi and co-founder Gage DeDominicis began volunteering in free classes for people with special needs in Darien, CT. Initially engaging about five participants in activities like dodge-ball and obstacle courses, they quickly developed a passion for the community and began hosting weekly events that brought more joy and excitement.
Pivoting During COVID-19
The onset of COVID-19 posed significant challenges, halting in-person classes. Undeterred, Daniel and Gage adapted by hosting Zoom classes that rapidly grew to over a hundred participants per session. This digital shift revealed key insights into accessibility barriers such as transportation and caregiver costs, inspiring the creation of an inclusive platform to bring activities directly to those with special needs and disabilities.
Expansion and Service Diversification
Recognizing a broader need, the platform expanded beyond recreational classes to include life skills, daily living, and job development courses, aimed at promoting independence and community engagement. This growth was complemented by the addition of features for disability providers, including tools for delivering virtual services, data management, and support for Medicaid claims. Notably, the initiative garnered celebrity support from Billy Blanks Jr. and Mike Tyson.
Future Vision and Growth
Looking ahead, our goal is to enhance the platform with more valuable content, social features, and support tools, to help disability providers excel in their service delivery. This vision is grounded in a commitment to community, accessibility, and the empowerment of individuals with special needs, in an effort to shape a more inclusive future.