About our Team!

Our Story

You’re With Us! is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and a Department of Developmental Services (DDS) service provider that creates inclusion opportunities for young adults with disabilities. The program identifies and trains college clubs, groups, and teams to welcome individuals with disabilities into their groups as they are. You’re With Us! believes that a meaningful life includes a home, a job, family, friends and social opportunities with their peers - able and otherwise. 

January 3, 2000 A few months later, as a first-time head men’s basketball coach at Salve Regina University, I was readying my team for practice. Minutes before we were to start, I found out my son Max had been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Max was nine months old and I was five months into my head coaching career. Standing before a group of fit and able-bodied young men, I started my usual practice warm-up address. But that day was different. As I began, I informed my team of Max’s diagnosis. And I began to cry. Many players began to tear up with me. After a couple of minutes, I told them we needed to have a good practice because Max would never have a chance to have a good practice. Max became an inspiration to my teams for the next six years. The players viewed Max as their teammate. He is present in every championship photo because the players insisted he be. When I left coaching – and for the eight years that followed –Max had no opportunities to be included in groups of able-bodied people. He withdrew and his physical condition worsened. That changed in 2013 when Max was welcomed onto the Northeastern University’s men’s basketball team. A new group of players welcomed him as their teammate. I had my son back. His life changed – and so did theirs.

People with disabilities often feel different and excluded from normal social opportunities. You’re With Us! aids these young adults in belonging to a group and receiving the benefits young people would typically receive from inclusive opportunities. Benefits of this inclusion flow in both directions. People with disabilities have the potential to influence those around them -- a special ability to open people up to compassion, empathy, and leadership. Further, You’re With Us! seeks to change the perceptions of disabled young people who believe they are separate and excluded by helping them become part of the communities centered on the activities that they enjoy. In turn, their new peers in these communities, who may have thought of children with disabilities as different, now find them to be friends, teammates, and even family.

All people are healthiest when they feel safe, supported, and connected to others in their neighborhoods and communities. The inclusion of people with disabilities in these communities provides the essential social skills and leadership tools to allow them to lead a full life.

Our 5k Details

When we are running: Lookout Farm, Natick, MA

Where we are running: October 16, 2022

$19,780.00

achieved

$25,000.00

goal

of your goal reached

Recent Activity

Our Supporters

  • Henry Sullivan 1 hour ago $250.00
  • Anonymous 17 hours ago
  • Todd Rosenbaum Way to go, Joe!!! 19 hours ago $105.00
  • Anonymous 20 hours ago
  • Jennifer Kiely 23 hours ago $105.00
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  • Jonathan Kravetz We send our best wishes, along with our deep admiration, to Joe Sharkey, and we applaud his work for "You're With Us" and the important work of this organization. 3 days ago $1,000.00
  • Darryl Demos Great cause. Great job!! The Demos Family 3 weeks ago $630.00
  • David Demos 4 weeks ago $525.00
  • Denise Sharkey Great effort joe! 4 weeks ago $525.00
  • Sahir Surmeli Thank you to Joe Sharkey and the You’re with Us! team. 5 days ago $500.00
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