The Iowa Clinic Healthcare Foundation Rise Up Iowa campaign is coming to a close. The response from the community has been overwhelming. Since 2016, we received 200-plus grant applications from across Central Iowa. It was a humbling experience reading through the submissions and learning about the many needs we have so close to home. We were able to pay it forward with $185,000 to ten amazing programs. Click here to learn more about our recipients.
Among our grant recipients was a project called “Rise Up North Des Moines”. A team of volunteers who work closely with the kids at Harding Middle School shared a vision on how to change the lives of their students. It was simple, get them involved in an after school activity. Sounds easy enough, but hundreds of kids were sidelined because of a huge barrier…the inability to get a sports physical. A Rise Up Iowa grant not only provided free onsite sports physicals for several hundred kids – but it also provided funding to purchase much needed athletic equipment, and it provided food. More than 95% of the students at Harding Middle School are food insecure. That means, the only meal they can count on is the meal served at school. Our grant provided snacks on game day and funded team dinners. If you’re out there wondering what the ROI is on a child participating in an after school activity, watch this video.
After the staff at Harding shared the data with us about the impact onsite sports physicals were having on participation and the overall improvements in attendance and behavior, we quickly realized this was something our Foundation could take to another level.
After a series of meetings with the Des Moines Public School district, we made the decision to expand our free, onsite sports physical program to six Metro schools with the greatest need. Throughout the 2018-2019 school year, we will travel to the following schools: Harding, Hiatt, Hoyt, McCombs, Weeks and Rails 9th Grade Academy. In addition to providing the free sports physicals, we plan to deliver snacks and other items (toiletries, socks, sports bras, shoes etc.) these kids desperately need to get involved.
As we bring the Rise Up Iowa Campaign to a close, we are so thankful it helped shine a light on this project that will become our primary focus moving forward. As a board, we are excited about the opportunity to pay it forward to the kids in our community.
To learn more about our Foundation and this new project, click here.