A Health Equity Project

Healthy Futures Game Changer
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About Game Changer

Young Alaskans from economically challenged backgrounds can be awarded grants to help get them in the game!

Youth groups (teams, clubs, etc) and individuals between the ages of 5-18 years old from across the state can apply for a grant. Examples of needs covered by Healthy Futures Game Changer include, 1) participation fees, 2) sports equipment, 3) transportation, 4) skill-building lessons, 5) basic clothing items that allow youth to participate in sports or recreational activities and 6) other.

Winners qualify for awards of up to $500. Need, character, and academic standing will be considered in the process. Recipients will be required to report how their funding was used to the Healthy Futures team.

Youth at Rampart School enjoy snowshoes purchased with Game Changer funds during Spring Carnival.

Program Parameters and Expectations

  • In order to better distribute our resources, awards are limited to one youth per family and/or group per calendar year.
  • Unfortunately, Healthy Futures Game Changer cannot address external economic factors that impact team fees or equipment costs. Our criteria focuses solely on the financial hardship of an individual, student or family irrespective of external factors like school budget cuts.
  • Due to a shared fundraising model, team applications from booster clubs will not be accepted. Instead, Healthy Futures encourages coaches to submit applications to reflect need on their team. 
  • Award recipients may receive funding lower than their application’s ask due to factors such as split candidate awards.
  • Healthy Futures Game Changer Fund does not support high costs affiliated with elite level competition, unless the individual, student or family is experiencing financial hardship.
  • Award recipients will need to provide testimony on their experience to be used for reporting purposes for program funding agencies. 


About Kicks for Kids

Sometimes a simple pair of shoes is the biggest game changer. Kicks for Kids works to not only put shoes on kids who need them to participate in athletics, but they also go to kids who just need something to protect their growing feet. This initiative has served hundreds of Alaska children annually by providing them with gym shoes, winter boots and sport specific footwear. Through this effort, children are able to hit the ground running and not only with proper gear, but with feelings of confidence and self worth.

Retails stores can donate used shoes from its customers, last year’s models of sneakers, returned shoes, even demo shoes that are often used just a few times and are still in great shape. Individuals can also donate shoes directly at our Healthy Futures office.

Healthy Futures has a strong vetting process to ensure each pair of shoes donated will reach a child in appropriate, usable condition.

The Glennallen Jr./Sr. Nordic XC Ski team with equipment purchased through Game Changer.

Game Changer Josephine Leonard participates at the 2023 Arctic Winter Games in Alberta Canada.


Thank You to Our 2023 Sponsors!

I have used Kicks for Kids since I first became a school nurse. I work in rural Alaska where children do not have access to many of the secondhand stores that are in Anchorage or other bigger cities. Kicks for Kids is such a great resource and has a real positive impact on families. Some of my students are so excited when they get their shoes because they’ve never had new ones before. I am always impressed with the quality and the professionalism of Kicks for Kids. Thank you for brightening up the lives of many of my students! Kicks for Kids is a vital resource for me. 

Romy Byrd – Nurse, Susitna Valley Jr./Sr. High School, Talkeetna Elementary and Trapper Creek Elementary

It is our hope that all of our student participants, no matter what size skate they wear, will have access to a pair of new skates when they join us after-school or with their families during community skates nights. This generous donation is the first step in achieving that goal. So many of our participants have never skated on ice and these first impressions are critical to fostering a love for outdoor winter sports. 

Kara Monroe – PTA, Airport Heights Elementary

Kicks for Kids has been an incredible resource for families that Child in Transition works with. When a family needs shoes for their child so that they can attend school, we look through the shoes we have and if we don’t have them on hand it is so nice to be able to fill out the simple request form and know that the shoes will be taken care of. Kicks for Kids allows us to be able to fill this seemingly small need for a student, but it has a huge impact on their ability to attend school and participate in activities. 

 Caroline Scott – Counselor, Child in Transition ASD

A big part of our success is our strength in numbers, and having the extra shoes for kids to use definitely is a major factor in being able to get more kids out for wrestling. Without those shoes, many kids might never even step on the mat!

Abe Salmon – Wrestling Coach, Redington Jr./Sr. High School

This program allows all students the means to proper equipment and therefore the means to be successful.

Charissa Chmielewski – Physical Education Teacher, Service High School

The students were so excited and appreciative. I can personally vouch how the donation helped with the students feeling more motivated.

Kari Brookover – Physical Education, McLaughlin Youth Center