Four major nonprofits team up to foster connection and camaraderie across the country

February 22, 2024

Catholic Charities USA, Habitat for Humanity International, Interfaith America and YMCA of the USA officially launch the Team Up Project, a collective commitment to bridge building 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — To counteract rising polarization, horrifying acts of violence fueled by hate, increasing feelings of loneliness, and growing ideological rifts across the nation, Catholic Charities USA, Habitat for Humanity International, Interfaith America and YMCA of the USA, today officially launched the Team Up Project — a new initiative designed to elevate and support ordinary acts of kindness, service, human connection, and cooperation. 

“The call to love your neighbor is universal, but it can feel like a daunting task in our increasingly isolated and fractured world,” said Kerry Alys Robinson, Catholic Charities USA President and CEO. “Bridge building projects, like those organized by our four organizations through the Team Up Project present an ideal antidote to this challenge. When we come together in service to help solve a problem or address a need in our community, we also gain a deeper understanding of and empathy for the neighbors we encounter.”

Through the Team Up Project, these organizations and their vast U.S. networks aim to provide opportunities and resources that inspire people to build connections; promote empathy and understanding across cultural, ethnic, religious, economic, and ideological backgrounds; create a stronger sense of belonging and unity; and work with others in their communities for the common good. 

“We are striving to build a ‘potluck nation’ where all Americans bring the best of their identities to the table for a shared feast,” said Interfaith America Founder and President Eboo Patel.  “Of course we will disagree on some things, but that should not prevent us from working together on other things. Team Up encourages respecting people’s diverse identities, building relationships between different communities, and cooperating on concrete projects with common aims.”

With more than 7,500 collective sites and affiliates around the country, the four organizations touch and strengthen nearly every community in the U.S. and its territories through a wide array of services. 

“Bridge building is needed more than ever in our society. When we come together and serve, we focus on our shared values instead of our differences, making us stronger and more cohesive,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “This project highlights the value and positive impact of meaningful connections made across differences, particularly in service to others. We hope to see many more organizations, civic leaders, and others use this platform to inspire shared action for the common good.” 

The Team Up project grew out of the bipartisan United We Stand Summit held at the White House in September 2022. The summit brought together individuals and organizations who would commit to bridge building efforts and activities that would foster a more united America.

Over the past year, grants and network support have enabled leaders in 32 communities across the country to plan and launch local projects that meet critical needs specific to those communities. Though the projects vary widely in terms of the challenges they seek to address and the strategies they employ to accomplish their goals, they have brought together volunteers from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, fostering a culture of encounter, collaboration, and mutual respect. 

“The bridge building activities at the heart of the Team Up Project foster understanding and a sense of belonging at a time when many people feel disconnected from those around them,” said YMCA of the USA President and CEO Suzanne McCormick. “Communities are stronger when neighbors are connected to each other, and Team Up aims to help people build relationships, explore and appreciate differences, and work together toward a better future. We see this as a path to a more united country.” 

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A member of Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the membership office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. CCUSA’s members provide help and create hope for more than 15 million people a year regardless of religious, social or economic backgrounds. To learn more about CCUSA, please visit our website at or contact Kevin Brennan, Vice President for Media Relations and Executive Communications, at

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