I volunteer for a children’s charity called Champions for Kids (see: http://www.ucdsb.on.ca/teams/championsforkids/Pages/default.aspx ). The charity helps students from disadvantaged families enjoy sports and participate in the arts. We raise funds by organizing golf tournaments, dances, women’s self-defense clinics and other events.
What I find so cool about this is how helping kids play sports can really change their lives- including a kid in my neighbourhood named “John”. John is from a single parent family comprised of a mother and three kids – all from different fathers. John was a loner. His mother is good to him, but there isn’t a lot extra in the budget for sports.
In the summer of his Grade 9 year, he was in danger of dropping out of school. He was getting into a lot of fights and had few friends.
I am a longtime soccer coach and I asked John if he wanted to play house league soccer that summer (see: http://www.brockvillesoccer.com/ ). I said I would take care of it through the foundation and got him into the league with my son’s team. He had never played league sports. What I didn’t know was he was a natural athlete. He was our third highest scorer that year and my team moved from seventh at the beginning of the year without John to finishing in fourth.
John made new friends with boys from the team. While he didn’t continue with soccer, they got him interested in football and he thrived in the sport throughout high school – keeping him engaged in his education. He’s not a great student, but he’s doing well enough that he is speaking with a recruiter about a career in the armed forces (see: http://www.forces.ca/en/page/paideducation-96) – and he hopes to parlay that into a university or college education.
I’d like to think that the little “hand up” our foundation gave him helped him set that goal and will help him go on to achieve it.
What is your favourite “customer story”?