Night Hoops gives inner city kids a better shot
Throughout North America, basketball is tops as an inner city sport. In Vancouver, Night Hoops brings at-risk youth into the game and gives them a better shot at a brighter future. The program, which has received CLICK funding, started in 1996 to provide a supervised and supportive recreational opportunity for teens on Friday and Saturday nights. Many of the youth involved would be unable to participate in any organized sport due to the barriers presented by poverty, or social and cultural issues.
Chad Cowles, a former college-level basketball player, is the program’s business development manager and his passion for Night Hoops is infectious. He has seen the program grow from its humble beginnings of seven teams to its current 28 teams. “The players can be First Nations to first generation Chinese to African refugees. They all come together in the same gym.” Chad adds that a fundamental principle of the program is inclusion. “It’s the Night Hoops family.” There are no skill-level or economic barriers to participation and the program is free to all participants, who receive a jersey and wear it with pride representing their community (e.g. Collingwood, Strathcona, Edmonds etc).
One of the most empowering aspects of the program is the relationship that can develop between players and coaches, who become positive mentors for the youth. “Our coaches keep coming back. They’re giving up their Friday and Saturday nights but they do it because there’s greater meaning in it,” says Chad. The program also offers the youth a valuable opportunity to progress from being players to coaches, coordinators and referees. “They can build their resumes and become professionals in their community,” notes Chad, adding that one former player is now a Vancouver Police Officer.
When you donate to CLICK, your support goes to programs which, like Night Hoops, have powerful and lasting effects on the lives of inner city kids.
If there was ever a need for more proof that, with support, inner city kids are capable of amazing things, we got it last month. In March, 15 inner city students from the Streetfront program – many of whom had never been out of Vancouver – climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and 12 made it all the way to the summit. Just a reminder…Mount Kilimanjaro, at 20,000 feet about sea level, is the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
Streetfront, which has received CLICK funding for several years, includes students from Grades 8 to 10 who are not succeeding at school due to a myriad of issues. Physical activity is central to the program, including distance running, hiking and camping. With impressive determination, the Streetfront staff and students fund-raised and trained hard for the trip. But since altitude sickness can strike even the fittest on Kilimanjaro, it was totally unpredictable how many
students would reach the summit. “There were so many moments when they could have packed it in and given up,” said Streetfront teacher Trevor Stokes. “We had little 14-year-old kids making it to the summit.” Trevor knows that climbing Kilimanjaro will inspire his students to take on and succeed in other life challenges, adding a favourite Streetfront saying: “It doesn’t matter where you come from – it’s where you go.”
It’s programs like Streetfront, as well as others supported by CLICK, that give inner city kids the belief that they can go as far as their dreams and drive will take them. When you donate to CLICK, you keep those dreams alive.
Thanks for caring,
Making a difference in their own back yard important to CLICK donors
Fergus Prentice and his wife Melanie believe strongly that it’s important to donate a portion of their annual income to charity. They do this not just because they feel charities like CLICK deserve their support. “We believe it’s an important life lesson for our kids,” says Fergus. Though Fergus notes that the largest, most high-profile charities tend to be the international ones, he and Melanie believe it’s important to help a local charity. “We can’t ignore the problems we have in our own back yard,” says Fergus.
Knowing two CLICK board members and how the charity uses money, Fergus is confident that his donation to CLICK is going for what it’s earmarked for – to programs that make a daily difference in the lives of children living in poverty in Vancouver. The commitment Fergus and Melanie have to make a difference in their community is clearly already rubbing off on their sons Milo, 9, and Max, 7. Before the penny was taken out of circulation the two boys embarked on a penny drive – and collected 48,000 pennies which they donated to a charity through an RBC branch.
2015 Inner City Kids Week…
choose your own way to get involved!
May 11-15 is the CLICK-led Inner City Kids Week in Vancouver.
You can show you care about the neediest kids in our city by:
- Making a donation to CLICK
- Holding a CLICK Fun-Raiser
- Attending CLICK’s fabulous fundraising reception and silent auction on Thursday, May 14)
- Spreading the word about helping Vancouver kids living in poverty by liking CLICK on Facebook and following us on Twitter
Every kid counts…can they count on you?
CLICK exists because almost 20% of kids in BC live in poverty. These children and youth have a right to a future that includes success and hope. They have a right to get the chance to break out of the poverty cycle.
We can’t make a difference to these kids alone – we need individuals, businesses and other organizations in Vancouver to stand with us and say: every kid counts in Vancouver.
CLICK’s fundraising goal for 2015 is to raise $75,000 for the programs we fund that make a daily difference to kids living in poverty in our city. Please say you care about our kids and make a donation to make a difference.
Holding a party, celebration or special event?
It’s easy to make it a CLICK Fun-Raiser!
Maybe it’s a birthday or anniversary, a retirement or other special event. Maybe it’s an office party or celebration. All these can also be opportunities to raise some funds for inner city children in Vancouver – any time of year!
To get a Fun-Raiser donation box and CLICK information materials delivered to you, get in touch with us at: email@example.com
Thanks to our Sponsors and Partners
UBC Medical and Dentistry Students
Britannia Secondary Business Club
Thank you for helping CLICK help kids!