The Issue: Youth Obesity in Underserved Neighborhoods
In 2011, just 31% of California students passed the P.E. test, according to the Los Angeles Times. To establish a healthy lifestyle, it's important to start off on a healthy foot, yet dangerous neighborhoods can limit the amount of time children spend outdoors. The lack of physical fitness in youth can extend into adulthood, and according to a study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, adulthood obesity is continuing to grow throughout California.
The Campaign: Empower Young Girls Through Running
If this Grassroots campaign raises $420, then Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) can sponsor two underserved and at-risk girls to participate in the Girls on the Run program. Each additional $12 donation will be used to help fund the participation of another LA-area girl. Ultimately, HOLA hopes to raise $2,500 for 12 girls to participate in the program.
The Girls on the Run youth-development program works after school with underserved and at-risk girls aged 8–13 to empower them through self-esteem-boosting workouts as they train for a 3.1-mile running event. In addition to encouraging exercise and a healthy lifestyle, the program's interactive curriculum addresses girls' emotional, mental, and social development to guide them toward positive decision-making and avoidance of risky behaviors such as early sexual activity and alcohol use.
You can follow the progress of this and other Grassroots campaigns at the Groupon Grassroots website.
Heart of Los Angeles
The staff at Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) believe that every child deserves a chance to pursue their education and develop to their potential within a safe, nurturing environment. To that end, they provide a home away from home for thousands of kids who attend inner-city schools and live in dangerous neighborhoods with prevalent gangs and drug use. At its campus, located in and around Lafayette Park, HOLA's professional staff and volunteers provide free afterschool programs that include academics, arts, and athletics for youth aged 6–19.
HOLA also partners with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to supply young people with much-needed activity space and a safe environment. Together, the organizations set aside a turf soccer field, outdoor basketball courts, plus a brand-new gym for youth to use.