Teddy and Joan Pendergrass Foundation
The mission of Teddy and Joan Pendergrass Foundation is to create a coordinated outreach organization that encourages and assists individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI) to achieve their maximum potential in areas of education, employment, housing, productivity and overall independence.
Through partnerships with existing organizations, the TJPF strives to expose the necessary resources; as well as help make the appropriate connections for people with
SCI, so that they can have the opportunity to lead productive lives in their chosen profession.
In addition, the TJPF aims to highlight the contributions and achievements of these individuals in an ongoing effort to change the negative perceptions, which currently exist for people living with SCI.
In 1998, after all that he had experienced and endured, Teddy Pendergrass founded the Teddy Pendergrass Educational/Occupational Alliance for the Disabled, (Teddy Pendergrass Alliance/TPA), a Pennsylvania registered 501(c)3 organization. The purpose of TPA was to help those individuals with spinal cord injuries achieve the benefits they so richly deserve. Unfortunately, Teddy died before he could fully implement his vision but his widow, Joan Pendergrass, made Teddy a promise to continue the fight for those less fortunate than Teddy. So in 2015 the “Teddy and Joan Pendergrass Foundation” was established to carry out the mission of helping those with spinal cord injuries.
The Teddy and Joan Pendergrass Foundation mission is to empower persons with disabilities. Its purpose is to be a coordinated outreach organization that encourages and assists individuals with spinal cord injuries to achieve their maximum potential in areas of education, housing productivity and overall independence”. Simply, “to be able to pursue their everyday activities and interests.”
Art Fennell interviews Teddy Pendergrass about his career and
living with a spinal cord injury in 2007.
Highlights from the Teddy Pendergrass event
“Teddy 25 — A Celebration of Life, Hope and Possibilities” on June 10, 2007.
Teddy believed that a physically challenged person can move forward in becoming and being an effective parent, business owner, can be satisfied with life, be challenged, and be competitive in every area including having and sustaining an intellectual, spiritual and sexual relationship. He believed that people who are physically challenged can do, almost, anything that any able-bodied person can do…they just do it, differently, and often times, better.
The Teddy and Joan Pendergrass Foundation is a non-profit organization, not looking for a cure, but looking to provide opportunities for the physically challenged, enabling the afflicted to pursue avenues to successes, big and small, innate and exceptional.
It is believed that there are more than 1,500,000 people with some form of disability in this country, alone. Sadly, and according to statistics, there are approximately 15,000 new spinal cord injuries from car accidents and/or swimming incidents, hundreds of people with permanent paralysis from botched surgeries, hundreds more from diseases and gunshot wounds each year. Let us not forget our brave soldiers and their families who suffer tremendous loss of physical abilities sustained protecting our freedoms, capabilities that they may never regain. The Teddy and Joan Pendergrass Foundation will provide a helping hand to all who reach out for opportunities necessary to get back to life…
A long term goal of the Teddy and Joan Pendergrass Foundation, and a project begun by Teddy before he died, is the purchase a building complex in Philadelphia for the purpose of educational/vocational training and to provide temporary housing. Here those physically challenged individuals, who have met the necessary requirements, not criteria, will be taught new skills, perfect existing skills, and be educated,… to develop confidence and leadership abilities, to gain emotional independence, mental strength and freedom to compete, achieve and be productive in today’s society; qualified to be neighborhood, corporate and government leaders; without fear of incapability, or concern for anybody’s thoughts of what can or cannot be done.
The Foundation alone, cannot accomplish all that has to be done. We need you to be an Ambassador for Teddy and his dream, whenever and wherever possible. Tell everyone about your commitment, and challenge them to become partners, at some level. We need companies to develop opportunities for everyone…..and, of course, we need your financial support to help Teddy and Joan Pendergrass Foundation acquire and develop that complex that will provide an educational/vocational training and temporary housing academy.