We just completed the process of evaluating applications for 2010 Health HEROES grants, which are cash awards that UnitedHealthcare gives to schools and youth-focused, community center-based programs that demonstrate a clear understanding of the health risks associated with childhood obesity and propose creative solutions that can be easily implemented in their schools and communities.
It was a very uplifting process because the many exciting projects reminded me of how many creative kids and great organizations for kids that there are in our great state. We were thrilled to see that though UnitedHealth HEROES is only in its second year, we had a significant increase in grant applications for 2010.
But it also presented us with a very tough decision on which projects to fund—we were selecting from 24 finalists, a bit more than we had budgeted for.
But all the programs asking for funding seemed to offer importat contributions to addressing childhood obesity on a grass roots level. We wanted to make sure that whether it involves slicing and dicing, digging and planting or grinding and spicing, that all these Health HEROES throughout Pennsylvania will have the tools they need to lead the fight against childhood obesity.
So we decided to fund all 24 programs!
UnitedHealth HEROES is a service-learning, health literacy initiative designed to encourage young people, working through educators and youth leaders, to create and implement local hands-on programs to address the issue of childhood obesity. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 percent of young people are obese, which means they are at an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and numerous other life-altering health conditions.
Each year, the UnitedHealth HEROES program awards grants to schools and youth-focused, community center-based programs that demonstrate a clear understanding of the health risks associated with childhood obesity and propose creative solutions that can be easily implemented in their schools and communities. Youth Service America administers our UnitedHealth HEROES program.