SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
UXBRIDGE: “We’re actually one of the busiest chapters in the whole country,” said Amanda Ferraro of Jumpstart Uxbridge, at an Uxbridge council meeting on Monday.
Since Jumpstart Uxbridge’s inception in 2005, it has raised over $300,000 in the community and assisted over 3,200 kids.
Mrs. Ferraro says, one of the best parts about donating to Jumpstart Uxbridge is, the money is spent here, stimulating the local economy.
“If you donate in Uxbridge it stays in Uxbridge,” she said.
In 2016 alone, the organization raised a bit over $46,000, to fund various programs and offer assistance to 561 families.
When Jumpstart Uxbridge was founded, its vision was to financially help every kid who couldn’t afford to enroll in sports programs, so they could still play. The organization has since been successful in achieving their vision.
“We are able to help everybody who asks. We have never turned a child down,” Mrs. Ferraro said.
Jumpstart Uxbridge isn’t only for subsidizing low income families so they can participate in competitive sports. They also run youth leadership training programs, to prepare them for future employment and volunteering.
Through a partnership with Uxbridge Secondary School, they have also been able to bring things to the school, like a free yoga program, at lunch.
“Our current yoga instructor is teaching individuals how to relax, meditate and just get ready for the exams and sort of debrief,” said Mrs. Ferraro. “We feel that it is so important to offer something like that in the schools and give kids those resources and tools.”
Part of the new partnership involves Jumpstart Uxbridge helping support 180 kids who want to go to leadership camp, and donating wrestling mats to the school.
Jumpstart is also working with the community to install outdoor fitness equipment, along with two ping pong tables in Elgin park.
“It’s going to be an amazing thing at Elgin park, it’s great for the kids and great for the adults,” said Rebecca Harman, of Jumpstart Uxbridge. “It’s just going to become a really neat hub for family activity.”
Jumpstart Uxbridge is holding their third annual Jumpstart Games, on July 14th, at Elgin Park. Kids can play in the splash pad or participate in wheelchair basketball, accessible volleyball, and soccer baseball, or other fun activities during the games.
“We’re just getting kids active throughout the day and it is a free program, so we are hoping that it is popular again this year,” Mrs. Harman said.
Any families that cannot afford to enroll their children in sports are encouraged to reach out to Jumpstart Uxbridge. Sports programs not only help kids get active, make friends and have fun, but they also put them onto a path of healthy living for years to come.
Uxbridge Mayor, Gerry Lynn O’Connor said, “Keep a kid active in their younger years and they won’t be a problem in their older years.”
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