Helping youth through fitness
With child obesity on the rise, I love to hear how communities come together by helping youth through fitness. I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to Lindsey Smith (founder and former executive director of Heart Haven Outreach) on the phone. Before I tell you how they are helping youth through fitness, let me highlight what Heart Haven Outreach (H2O) is.
Their mission statement from their website: Heart Haven Outreach, better known as H2O, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that serves high school teens in the greater Bolingbrook area who are experiencing challenging times. Through a variety of time-tested and research-based programs, we pursue our mission of “reaching out to the hearts of youth and facilitating life transformation.”
Also Quoted from their website: "We offer a variety of programs and activities for high school age youth, including support groups, mentoring, character and life skills education, service opportunities, and recreation." They have a great building that has a computer lab, library, game room, group rooms and kitchen.
Lindsey shared that they have planned their 3rd annual Heart Haven Hustle 5K run and 1 mile fun walk to take place on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at the Promenade Mall of Bolingbrook. Tomorrow, September 13, 2013 is the last day to save 20% off of the registration fee for both the 5K run and 1 mile walk. Lindsey stated this year was the first year they decided to open it up for other youth organizations to chose to gather pledges that go to their own organization (not H2O) if they choose. Also individual participates can chose their own youth organization to have pledges go to. She stated that they are keeping it to youth organizations only to have sponsorship/pledges because that matches up to their vision.
This opportunity brings other youth organizations together to network and build a better sense of community. As a Social Worker, networking and resources is very important to meet the needs of the consumers that you serve.
As Lindsey and I talked on the phone, we are both excited to encourage youth to be motivated about fitness and health. She stated that when adults come together for a great cause and lead by example then the youth will follow by their example. I have seen this hand in hand with my son. When I ride my bike, he wants to ride his bike too.
I would have loved to be part of this 5K but I'm running in the Chicago Marathon on the same day. I figured I would at least get the word out about this awesome opportunity in the Chicagoland area. Please consider registering for this wonderful event and telling others about it.
You may not be ready for a marathon and 5K (3.1 miles) may feel like a marathon to you, so the 1 mile walk may be up your alley. The empathies here is to get out and move while helping youth through fitness event. You can do anything that you set your mind to. Set the goal and get your family involved. You wont regret it.
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Filed under: fitness