Hi everyone! I hope you all are getting excited for the holiday season. I know I am! It’s always an exciting time for me to travel back home to Texas for the holidays to spend time with family and friends. This time I will be driving the long 15 hour journey from Muncie, Indiana to Denton, Texas, and rest assured that Christmas music will be playing loud and clear all the way!
For those of us that go on these long road trips, our minds typically wander from topic to topic. Some thoughts can wander to reflect on our lives, where we have come from and where we are going. For those of us who have been blessed to be able to play sports, we really don’t know what it’s like to not be able to play the game we love. Just stop and think about that for a second — have you ever thought about what it would be like to want to play softball but were unable to play because of financial reasons? Or what it would be like to have to stop playing because one of your parents lost his or her job and your family could not afford for you to keep playing? Have you ever really thought about that? Well some kids think about it all the time, and these are kids that live in our neighborhoods, go to our schools and are, or at one time were, our friends.
No matter what level you are at with your sport: just starting out, playing competitively, entering your freshman year of high school, looking at getting signed to play in college, or playing international or professional ball, we all can think back to friends we grew up with who were not able to play or continue playing. There are thousands of young athletes in this country who want to play a sport, but are unable to continue because of other financial demands on their family.
With your help, we can begin to change that! We can begin the road this holiday season for the doers and the dreamers and help them get out there on that softball field, just like you and I were blessed to be able to do.
First, let me introduce you to a person I met while I was at Ball State: Devon Bell, a special young woman, who played Field Hockey at BSU. At every one of Ball State Softball’s home games, she was always there cheering us on. From freezing cold to warm spring weather, it did not matter, Devon was there. She was one of those athletes who attended college, worked hard in her own sport, but truly appreciated all of the sports and their teams. She saw the value sports brought to one’s life. She graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Education with a minor in Sociology. Today, she coaches a club field hockey team called Spirit of USA. Devon founded the Power Forward Foundation in the spring of 2014, a non-profit organization that assists kids financially to play their sport and reach their dreams.
The mission of Power Forward is to provide young underprivileged athletes the opportunity to attend athletic competitions. Power Forward strives to give these athletes the inspiration and financial means to allow them to achieve their potential in athletics. This nonprofit organization is built around the morals and values of hard work, dedication, and community commitment, which allows athletes to excel in both sports and life. Power Forward is committed to making a positive impact on young athletes and to provide them with the tools they need to power forward into their future.
I invite you to check out this organization’s website at www.powerforwardfoundation.org – and I encourage you to make a donation of any amount you are able to give this time of year, it will go a long way to assist these kids!
Coaches and parents, put this organization in your address book. Many of you have coached a child who had to quit playing the game because of financial hardship. Send that family to this organization, let these kids live their dreams! Parents, you do the same. When you have friends whose kids cannot start the sport they love or must stop playing for financial reasons, please tell them about Power Forward and direct them to www.powerforwardfoundation.org .
To my fellow athletes: help me promote Power Forward through Social Media! Tag them on Facebook, Twitter and in your Instagram accounts! Let’s get the word out about this organization, so the next generation doesn’t have to be left behind.
Just think if each of us donated $5.00 this holiday season to Power Forward, how many young kids we could reach? Let’s join together, and find out! We cannot only change the lives of future athletes, but we can also change communities. It is well documented that the benefits of participation in sports far exceeds the outcomes of winning ball games. For young men and women the self-esteem and social skills they obtain from playing sports goes beyond just the physical benefits. These young athletes grow up to become leaders in our society and assists in building our nation.
So please, check out Power Forward this holiday season! Use them, donate to their cause, bookmark their website, and get involved. Use your social media to pass the word around. I am going right now to make my donation, I hope you will join me!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Look forward to visiting with you all in the New Year! Until next time. Keep working hard and never be satisfied,