Already this is a Happy New Year for our NovatoSpirit nonprofit: The low-income kids we serve are thriving in their athletic programs and our nonprofit has been nominated for the prestigious “Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence” award at the annual Heart of Marin Awards ceremony in this month.
We are among 23 Marin nonprofits nominated for this award, including APPLE Family Works, the Boys & Girls Club, the Godmothers of Timothy Murphy School at St. Vincent’s, and Legal Aid of Marin. We feel honored to be in such stellar company!
NovatoSpirit begins the year with 40 impoverished youth, and they are grateful to participate in high-quality fitness programs that are beyond their families’ budgets. Most of our kids are practicing karate and tae kwon do (which cost more than $1,000 per child annually) and dance (which costs $500 per child), and a few are playing soccer (which costs $80 per child). So you can see that without the generosity of the Novato community, there is no way these kids could improve their health.
Improving children’s physical and mental health is our mission, and Novato pediatricians refer their patients to us for this reason. Novato’s overall population has a high incidence of obesity and diabetes. Many of our kids suffer from these afflictions, as well as from other health problems, such as asthma. The parents of all of these youth tell us that our fitness activities have dramatically improved their kids’ overall health and self-esteem — and more.
One 8-year-old boy wrote: “I would like to take tae kwon do classes to learn discipline, follow orders from the teacher, get on time, learn positions, and stand up for myself. It is important for me, because when I grow up I will know all of this.”
Another tae kwon do student, a 10-year-old girl, wrote: “I want to take the classes so when I grow up I can teach other children and when they grow up they can teach too. I really want to take the classes. I also want to teach my little brother what I am going to learn. I am going to do my best and try my best to learn. Thank you so much.”
One 15-year-old boy wrote appreciatively about playing soccer: “Thank you, for I will try really hard for my family because I love them a lot. I’ll be trying harder than ever to be able to go play soccer and even make it into college. I will try to make my mom proud and not let her down!”
Thank you for enabling NovatoSpirit to serve these kids and others wishing to run, kick, spin, and strive!
NovatoSpirit is a 501c3 public charity and all donations to us are tax-deductible. For more information, please visit the website.