While the pandemic choked out plans and good intentions for some, Bring It Push It Own It, a local grassroots nonprofit, expanded its reach in 2020.

Traditionally, the seven-year nonprofit has served area girls with a mission to empower them through movement and exercise while adding in group discussions and team-building exercises that builds them emotionally and mentally. In 2020, Bring It Push It Own It launched a boy’s division, providing the same opportunities as it did for girls, but with some aspects specific for boys. But the nonprofit’s growth wasn’t done. In fact, the organization launched two more programs for two different demographics.

Bring It Fire was added to the nonprofit’s programming lineup to support movement, emotional resiliency, and mental health for adult women. Bring It Adaptive, the second new program to be added to the Bring It line-up, is a special needs program that gives those with disabilities the opportunity for connection and body movement to help them feel empowered.

“Bring It Fire was something that came out of the girl’s programming,” said Executive Director Tisha Marie Strasser. “Moms were seeing first-hand the transformation in their daughter’s lives and wanted some of that, too. Our workout sessions are more than just moving the body, while working out the women hear empowering, encouraging messages that work on their inner strength for overall mental, physical, and social wellness. It’s a powerful combination.”

While there are existing programs for adults with special needs, Strasser saw the opportunity to provide a supplemental option that brings a new environment and a new experience for those adults.

“There are a lot of great organizations putting together programs and opportunities for adults with special needs,” said Strasser. “We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, but we did see that this group could benefit from having some outside influence and interaction that isn’t the standard options they get every day. Our Adaptive Program takes the same heart and mission that our other programs run on and applies it to their special circumstances so they can feel empowered in their own way.”

During the last six months of 2020, in the middle of a global pandemic, Bring It Push It Own It hosted four different workshops, launched three new programs, and held three programs for boys and girls. In addition to its programming, Bring It Push It Own It purchased a new location on Huffman Street and began a monthly giving campaign.

“It was a leap of faith – buying a building, launching new programs,” said Strasser. “It just seemed that this was the perfect time to show up in a big way. If ever we needed opportunities to strengthen our mental wellbeing and feel empowered when everything seems out of control… it is now.”

As the nonprofit enters a new year, its mission is engaged now more than ever. Bring It Push It Own It is gearing up for its annual International Women’s Day Breakfast slated for April and has already begun programming for the groups it serves. But it’s the monthly pledges that make a financial difference for Bring It Push It Own It. To participate in the monthly pledge, a minimum $10 monthly gift is paid each month which goes toward programming costs and supports participants right here in the Fort Wayne area.

“We continually need monthly pledges to help underwrite the cost of our programming,” said Strasser. “Since we’re a local organization, we don’t always get the same funding as some of the larger, government-backed groups. However, we’re clearly making a difference in our community and impacting lives. We’ve always been an organization that depended on local financial support and our monthly pledging option is a great way to get involved.”

To participate in the monthly pledge campaign or to learn more about Bring It Push It Own It’s program options, visit

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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