As a Board Member for Active Children Portland I was lucky enough to take part in a special #stweek event. Thanks to all who made this day fun and healthy for the kids, including Active Children Portland, Friends of the Children, Providence Health and Services, Alaska Airlines, New Relic, Stand Together, the Timbers, Thorns, and T2.
The day involved 4 stations: Reading, gardening, healthy smoothie making, and playing soccer.
At station #1 there were private reading rooms where kids could read to adults or vice versa. In one room there was even a child reading to a dog –adorable!
At station #2 we pulled weeds in a garden and set stepping stones the children had made. It was inspiring to talk to the kids about eating healthy. One boy said his favorite vegetable was broccoli! I absolutely loved watching the kids pick (with such delight) the fresh strawberries, cherry tomatoes, carrots, & peppers. After they washed them off many enjoyed a fresh healthy treat.
At station number #3 the kids chose what they wanted in a refreshing smoothie. One girl was adamant she hated spinach, but with a bit of convincing she put spinach in her smoothie. After she finished, I asked her what she thought. She said in the future she will put spinach in her smoothie because IT WAS delicious.
Finally at station #4 everyone played soccer! Kids played with each other, then with adults, and finally, against the adult volunteers and mentors. It was a tight match. Right up until the end it was tied, but the kids scored a last-minute goal and won the game– AND THE DAY!
An incredible moment of my day volunteering came after meeting a boy who was having struggles at home. When he first got to the camp that Active Children Portland was doing that week, he was very unhappy and didn’t want to interact with anyone. However, thanks to our caring Program Manger (Luis) taking him under his wing he learned rule #1 of soccer… always have fun! He started to enjoy himself, and by the end of the day he was talking to everyone, asking for pictures with the players, and most importantly, he had a huge smile on his face! It was an incredible transformation to witness.
I am truly proud to be a part of Active Children Portland, an organization that teaches such important lessons to our youth, and gives them a safe space to learn, grow and be healthy, and all while bringing smiles to their faces.