ABOUT GAME CHANGER
Through a partnership between Healthy Futures and Alaska’s News Source and integration of The Basics organization, young Alaskans from economically challenged backgrounds can be awarded scholarships to help get them in the game!
Youth groups (teams, clubs, etc) and individuals between the ages of 8-18 years old from across the state can apply for a scholarship. Examples of needs covered by Healthy Futures Game Changer include, but are not limited to 1) participation fees, 2) sports equipment, 3) transportation, and 4) basic clothing items that allows youth to participate in sports or recreation activities.
Winners will be funded up to $500 on a biweekly basis. Need, character, and academic standing will be considerations in the award process. Recipients will be required to report how their funding was used to the Healthy Futures team, which may then be shared by Alaska’s News Source.
THE BASICS has joined forces with Healthy Futures!
For the past decade, The Basics mission has been to advocate and support children in need to enable healthy, safe, and active lifestyles. The Basics and it’s Kicks for Kids initiative has served thousands of Alaskan children annually by providing them with gym shoes, winter wear and athletic specific gear. 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.
Since 2012, The Basics expanded from a grass roots initiative to a successful statewide program through outstanding leadership and strong community partnerships. As the leaders who founded The Basics and made it so successful move on to the next chapter in their own lives, the Healthy Futures organization is committed to ensuring the mission and legacy of The Basics lives on.
KICKS FOR KIDS
Sometimes a simple pair of shoes is the biggest game changer. Kicks for Kids works to 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. 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. Parents can also add their children’s outgrown shoes to bins in schools.
Healthy Futures has a strong vetting process to ensure each pair of shoes donated will reach a child in appropriate, usable condition.
What We Are Providing
An alarming number of young Alaskans are economically disadvantaged causing participation inequity across the state. Over 40% of urban schools and over 80% of rural schools in Alaska qualify as Title 1 due to high percentages of students living below the poverty level.
Children who have a passion or show potential in sports or recreation often run into barriers that keep them out of the game. These obstacles include, but are not limited to, lack of finances, lack of transportation, and lack of supportive family structure. Without support too many dreams go unrealized. And without support too often negative influences fill the void.
Schools, churches, and other community organizations like Boys and Girls Club and YMCA provide a level of critical safety but often aren’t able to meet the individualized needs of young Alaskans with big dreams. Healthy Futures Game Changer is here to help with club soccer fees, hockey equipment needs, air fare to travel with the team, daily transportation support to get to practice, lessons to build skills, or any other barriers standing in the way of shooting for the stars.
“If you can dream it, you can do it”
This program meets a real need and truly puts shoes and boots on our student’s feet. The look on the kids’ faces…..is priceless.
Timothy Andrew – Principal, Creekside Elementary School ASD
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