Odwalla Champions for Kids Game Day Challenge: encouraging play at Ryves Youth Center

by on April 10, 2012 in Personal Experiences

Last month I wrote a whole slew of articles about the All You magazine Champions for Kids SIMPLE Service project. The focus was on Couponing for Good. My intent was to raise awareness of our ability as frugal shoppers to give without going broke, but my hope was also to raise awareness of the needs of a local charity: Ryves Youth Center at Etling Hall.

This month I am participating in another Champions for Kids project, with Odwalla juice!

It’s a Game Day Challenge, focused on encouraging young people to get healthy and stay healthy by playing sports, being active and playing outside. I am once again working to provide some resources to Ryves Youth Center, and hope that you will consider joining me in my efforts to raise awareness about physical activity for children.

Click here to download a Champions for Kids SIMPLE Service Project fact sheet with more information about the Game Day Challenge!

So, here’s what’s going on with me:

First, I did a little research about Odwalla.

They are the corporate sponsor for this month’s SIMPLE Service Projects. I honestly wasn’t that familiar with their products, other than seeing them on the shelves in the refrigerator cases at the store. After visiting their website, I was pleased with what I saw!

I have two young children and work hard to make sure I give them mostly healthy meals, snacks and drinks. I always look for 100% juice in the store, and limit candy and sweets. It isn’t that I want to deprive them…I just want them to be healthy!

Odwalla wants the same thing. They make juice that is all natural and contains no preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors and no genetically modified ingredients. Sounds good to me!

As I mentioned in a post last month, Ryves Youth Center at Etling Hall serves children from low to no income homes. They provide meals and snacks, and sometimes those meals and snacks are all some kids at their center get to eat each day. Having healthy foods, snacks and drinks are important to developing minds and bodies, and Ryves Youth Center is working to help their children with their food needs.

Next, I did some shopping!

This was a lot of fun for me. I invited my daughter to come to Walmart to look for items that we could donate to Ryves Youth Center. I wanted to find items that would encourage play and activity, both indoors and out.

Click here to see my Google+ Photo Album of the whole shopping trip!

Ryves Youth Center actually has very little “yard” outside. They play most of their activities inside, and have an active basketball league. I wanted to find two kinds of items: items that multiple children could play with at once, and items that could be used indoors or outdoors.

Jump ropes were first on my mind, because with some of the smaller ropes they could jump rope individually indoors or outdoors, but with some of the longer ropes they could get groups of kids involved in Double Dutch games! I bought some of each in colors that would appeal to both boys and girls.

I did get a couple of items mainly for outdoor use like huge bubble wands and sidewalk chalk, but I also snagged frisbees too, because they can be used indoors and with multiple kids. Click here to see everything I looked at while I shopped. There were so many options!

My daughter fell in love with this indoor bowling set (she actually cried when I had to put it in the cart), so I picked that up as well. I think it would be a lot of fun for the kids at Ryves Youth Center, and more than just a few can play at a time!

I am not exactly sure how they will use all of the items I picked up, but I would imagine that they would be used in one of two ways: as activities the kids can do after school or as prizes in their Prize Closet. Ryves Youth Center awards points to the kids for different activities that they complete, and when they get so many points accumulated, they get to pick an item from the Prize Closet. Some of these items might make fun prizes!

In the end though, I just wanted to make sure I chose items that the kids could play with and be active. No sitting around staring at a little game screen or watching movies on a television, but actually running and playing and having fun! Did you know that only 3.8 percent of elementary schools, 7.9 percent of middle schools and 2.1 percent of high schools provide daily physical exercise for their students?

Here’s what I brought home to donate:

During my shopping trip, I also checked out the Odwalla juice. They had several varieties, but I didn’t pick any up to go with these items, because a few containers of single serving juice wouldn’t go very far at the youth center.

I’ve got plans for Odwalla juice though! Keep reading…

To see pictures of our whole shopping trip to Walmart (including the juice!), click here.

Finally, I started working on a larger donation goal.

Here’s where this service project stands to really get fun! I contacted a local business that makes shirts for all sorts of places like sports teams, universities, schools, etc. I asked the owner to donate much needed new basketball jerseys for the youth center…and he said YES!

Bagnoche Sports in Terre Haute will be working with me to make new jerseys for BOTH basketball leagues at Ryves Youth Center. I am hoping we can get them done in the next two weeks, and then I can take them to the center along with a case of Odwalla juice for the team to enjoy after a game!

I’ll be posting some more information in the coming days and weeks about the rest of this project, but I would also love to hear about how you are helping kids with their fitness and nutrition in your area!

If you are in the Terre Haute area and would like to help with this project, either by donating juice for the team, used or new sports equipment for the center, or in any other way, please let me know!

Here are some additional links you might like to check out:

Also, if you do a SIMPLE Service Project, be sure to report it here!!

I am thrilled to be able to participate in the Champions for Kids SIMPLE Service projects, and hope you will join me in giving back to kids in your community! I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. #CBias #SocialFabric #OdwallaCFK


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