**Below is a press release from the organization**
AUSTIN, Tex. — Austin-based nonprofit Hope4Minds and Lubbock-based foundation Team Luke will merge to become Team Luke Hope for Minds, allowing the two complementary organizations to work together and provide expanded services and resources to families of children with brain injuries.
“For the past six years, Hope4Minds has worked hard to establish programs that fulfill the unmet needs of these families,” Ronda Johnson, director of family services, said. “Team Luke has done a great job raising resources and awareness, so we are excited to be able to have a higher impact together, giving access and resources to more families who need our guidance and assistance.”
According to the Texas Brain Injury Alliance, an infant, child, teenager, or adult in the U.S. sustains a traumatic brain injury every 21 seconds. There is a void, however, in access to services for children who have brain injuries. And that’s where Team Luke Hope for Minds steps in.
“This is a big step forward to filling that void and bringing it to the forefront of people’s minds, wrapping the community around these families and reaching them in a more holistic way,” Johnson said. “Together, we can do more to provide support groups, financial assistance, and educate communities about prevention.”
Hope4Minds was formed in 2012 as a community effort organized after an 11-year-old boy named JD suffered an anoxic brain injury due to a nonfatal drowning in his family’s hot tub. The family struggled with the lack of information and guidance, as well as the mounting expenses for items such as house renovations, transportation, medical equipment for their home, and recovery-based therapies not covered by insurance. They received significant financial support from their community and a decision was made to form Hope4Minds to help families experiencing the same struggles. Since then, Hope4Minds has served more than 100 families with its programs and services, and has provided more than $423,000 in financial resources.
“Hope4Minds helped us to make better choices in our son’s care and education,” Paula Jackson, whose son James experienced a brain injury, said. “They provided him with the therapy he needed. My son is stronger and most importantly, you can see his continuous improvements.”
Tim Siegel, former Texas Tech men’s tennis coach and father of Luke Siegel, who suffered a traumatic brain injury and chest trauma leading to an anoxic brain injury in a golf cart accident in July 2015, formed the Team Luke Foundation in January 2017. Luke’s story gained a powerful following on social media, and resulted in support from some of Luke’s favorite athletes like New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, Texas Rangers short stop Elvis Andrus, and many more.
“As a parent of a son who had an anoxic brain injury, we are not given a tremendous amount of hope, positive reinforcement or encouragement,” Siegel, executive director, said. “We want to help reach families in that way as well—to give them hope. I have to live that hope every day, and I want to be able to share my experience with other families and get them to realize that there is hope for their child.”
Team Luke’s mission to bring awareness and provide critical support and assistance to families with children who have suffered an anoxic or traumatic brain injury is the perfect complement to the work Hope4Minds has been doing for the past six years.
“Now we will have one mission,” Siegel said. “The missions were very similar and complemented each other well, down to the same key words. So, we both, from day one, have had the same goals.”
Both organizations look forward to the partnership because the combining of strengths will allow them to have a greater impact together.
“I know that there’s no way I could do this the way it needs to be done by myself,” Siegel said. “Ronda has done an amazing job the last six years, and together we’ll be able to cover every single area we need to in order to make this transition smooth, but also to bring awareness, educate, and to help families financially and emotionally.”
This merger will also expand the service area of Hope4Minds’ established programs to help more families.
“Our scope of services has been the state of Texas, and it had to be a brain injury that occurred as a result of an accident, so we’re expanding on that and will be able to help children in other states and with injuries from other causes, like a stroke or an aneurism,” Johnson said. “It’s a big deal for us to be able to do that.”
Team Luke Hope for Minds will operate under its united mission: We enrich the lives of children with a brain injury and give hope to their families through support and education.
“For me, it’s not just personal because of what happened to my son,” Siegel said. “It is also personal because helping other families has kept me going and made me want to make a difference in other people’s lives because of what I’ve gone through. By merging, we have an opportunity to reach more people and to utilize our strengths to help families in need.”
About Team Luke Hope for Minds
Team Luke Hope for Minds is a nonprofit organization providing guidance, advocacy and financial support for children with brain injuries and their families. At the heart of the organization’s services is the conviction that the health and well-being of these children can improve over time if they have access to therapeutic services, adaptive equipment and educational materials. Since 2012, Team Luke Foundation and Hope4Minds has served more than 100 families, provided more than $475,000 dollars in resources, and raised additional funds to continue providing services, equipment and financial support to the families it serves. For more information, visit www.teamlukehopeforminds.org.