As Blue KC’s Community Relations and Investment Manager, I have the privilege of working closely with Girls On The Run, WIN For KC, and Sports LAB™ with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City to help work toward their respective missions. What’s so great about these missions and why are they important to Blue KC is they each focus on providing healthy, active living for Kansas City kids.
At Blue KC, we’re committed to providing affordable access to healthcare and to improving the health of our members. It’s also a priority to us to give back to the Kansas City community and encourage future generations to live healthy, balanced lives. With this week being National Youth Sports Week, we want to shine an extra light on their efforts.
Girls On The Run
Girls on the Run is a national organization spanning all 50 states with more than 200 councils, including one right here in Kansas City. The organization offers 10-week seasons where girls across Kansas City learn different life skills they can carry with them forever, like leadership, global citizenship, and positive decision-making, all through sports and running.
Blue KC is a loyal and valued supporter of Girls on the Run. This past spring, a group of Blue KC employees visited a practice at Border Star Montessori School to run with the girls and help them prepare for their upcoming 5K. We are also proud to send volunteers to serve as running buddies at their 5Ks to help the girls get across the finish line and show them the finish line isn’t simply about getting there, but about how you arrive.
If the mission of Girls On The Run resonates with you, consider volunteering by being a coach at a school near you, facilitating practices or serving as mentors! Last season, they had 820 volunteer coaches throughout the Kansas City community investing their time to help girls grow their confidence and appreciate a healthy lifestyle. Learn more about Girls on the Run.
WIN for KC
An idea that was born out of a passionate Kansas City community looking to elevate women’s sports in 1994, The Women’s Intersport Network for Kansas City (WIN for KC) is another organization with which Blue KC is proud to partner. WIN for KC’s primary mission is to empower the lives of girls and women through advocating and promoting the lifetime value of sports and fitness. The organization provides opportunities for participation and leadership development that can help girls and women on and off the field with impactful programs such as Camp WIN, a multi-sport camp for girls ages 6-12 to learn more than 14 sports all in the course of over four days. These sports include traditional sports such as soccer, volleyball and softball, but WIN for KC also strives to introduce more unconventional sports such as fencing and rugby. These activities help participants learn how to try new things and prepares them to be comfortable and excited for new adventures for later in life.
Blue KC employees volunteer their time at Camp WIN, WIN for KC”s annual luncheon, and at WIN for KC’s annual all-women’s triathlon, the only one of its kind in Kansas City.
Volunteers and donations go a long way in driving WIN for KC’s mission forward. Whether it’s volunteering at Camp WIN or other events, or supporting the organization through donations, your support can help the next generation of young women to reach their highest potential. Monetary donations to WIN for KC help develop programming for young girls and women, as well as provide scholarships to help make Camp WIN affordable for aspiring campers. Learn more about WIN for KC.
Sports LAB™, an innovative offering from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, is a sports-centric program that teaches young boys and girls life skills and positive lessons through sports participation. Often times, the field and court are the best places to learn about perseverance, cooperation, collaboration, strategic thinking and managing pressure. The Sports LAB™ concept was first developed by a former college athlete to encourage young people to perfect their skills as athletes and even help participants identify additional talents for off-the-field sports careers such as broadcasting, training, statistics, journalism and videography.
Through their collaboration with Della Lamb, Kansas City Public Schools, the Local Investment Commission, Kansas City Parks and Recreation, and the YMCA, Sports LAB™ has been able to host fun sports programming such as aquatics, baseball, basketball, flag football, golf and track for the Kansas City community. Their partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs and College Basketball Experience has created lifelong memories for many of the organization’s participants through city-wide league championships in flag football and basketball.
I’ve been fortunate to chair the Sports LAB™ Advisory Board and provide some of the youth of Kansas City’s urban core with daily engagement opportunities, meals, and learning opportunities related to healthy lifestyle and awareness. Sports LAB™ is always in need of volunteers to help with sports programming by serving as coaches, mentors, and overall supporters – as well as donations – to support programming and competitive leagues for participants. Learn more about Sports LAB.
Thanks to each of our wonderful youth sports partners and all of the Blue KC employee volunteers who help to make these partnerships a success year after year. For more information about Blue KC’s community investment initiatives and partnerships, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Manager, Community Relations and Investment
Macaela Stephenson is the Manager of Community Relations and Investment at Blue KC. Macaela is responsible for overseeing philanthropic giving, internal and external volunteering, sponsorships, community partnerships and Blue KC’s giving strategy, including corporate social responsibility.