I’m proud to say that during the first four years of the program, nearly 1,000 UnitedHealth HEROES grants, totaling almost half a million dollars, have been awarded to groups across the country. Earlier this year I detailed the Pennsylvania 2011-2012 recipients. Last year’s programs were so innovative, I can’t wait to see what this year will bring!
To qualify for the grants, the youth-led childhood obesity prevention programs should include a service component that increases awareness, provides direct service, advocates an idea or raises funds to help slow the growing childhood obesity figures. The activities will, appropriately, begin on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (Jan. 21, 2013) and end on Global Youth Service Day (April 26-28, 2013).
More than 12 million children in the
are obese, according to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention. We’ve all heard such troubling stats before
and recognize that childhood obesity is a serious danger. As adults, we know
that healthy habits, including physical activity and proper eating, are the easiest
and best way to treat and prevent obesity. But, we haven’t exactly been the
best role models for our children. According to the CDC, more than one-third of
adults are obese. U.S.
Maybe it’s time we let the kids give it a try. I know from my own experience as a mother that my sons are always teaching me something. Kids are dedicated, creative, focused and know what will work and inspire their peers, yet sometimes simply lack the means or adult attention to put their ideas in motion. That’s why these grants are so important. There are many young people out there trying to make a difference for themselves and their communities. Who better to mobilize into action against childhood obesity then children themselves?
Applications will be accepted until midnight EST on Oct. 15, 2012 and award recipients will be notified in November. To learn more about the UnitedHealth HEROES program and to apply for a grant, visit www.YSA.org/HEROES. Submit your application today and let’s give our kids a chance to set the example of healthy living for us all!
|2010 UnitedHealth HEROES award winners|