Four Major Nonprofits Team Up to Foster Connection and Camaraderie Across the Country

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.

Chicago (February 22, 2024) - 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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About Catholic Charities USA
A member of Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the membership office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. Catholic Charities USA'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 [email protected].

About Habitat for Humanity International
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity found its earliest inspirations as a grassroots movement on an interracial community farm in South Georgia. Since its founding in 1976, the Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit

About Interfaith America 
Founded in 2002, Interfaith America is the premier interfaith organization in the United States, with a $15M budget, 50 full-time professional staff, and $5M in grants distributed in 2021. Through its initiatives and partnerships, Interfaith America is equipping individuals and professionals with the knowledge and skills needed for leadership in a religiously diverse world.  For more information, please visit their new website and follow Interfaith America on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn. Interfaith America also recently released a new video "We Need to Build an Interfaith America," where Patel outlines a vision for the next chapter of this organization.

About the Y
Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they're from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y's goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities nationwide. Learn more at

Four Major Nonprofits Team Up to Foster Connection and Camaraderie Across the Country