Jeremy's Heroes requires all participants to perform an act of community service to promote compassion, citizenship and leadership.
Our children explore and define their own "community" and then develop an idea on how they can give back to that community. The children learn that they have the power to influence and benefit other people's lives in their communities.
Our kids' projects range from neighborhood improvement, fundraisers, mentoring, coaching, staffing soup kitchens and even motivational speaking. All children, no matter the age or ability are able to develop and execute a service plan. Many use their sport as a means of creating their service project, inspiring others to either join or excel in that sport.
Jeremy's Heroes Service Crews
St. Marks School
In return for the JH grant, which established and organized physical education program at the St. Marks School in East Harlem, NY, the students explored many definitions their "community" including:
• Their Neighborhood - St. Marks kids wanted to find a way to help sick children in their neighborhood. The school is located around the corner from Harlem Hospital. The kids started the Toasty Toes Slipper Drive for the children of Harlem Hospital so they would have warm slippers for their winter stays in the Hospital;
• Their School - The children created a "library volunteer" position. Each child would volunteer time in their newly established library to reshelf books, clean the area and water the plants. The children believed it is important to maintain the beauty of their new library;
• Their World - Learning of the international tragedy from the Tsunami in 12/04, St. Marks wanted to help. Raising almost $1000 the children and their family wanted to impact those that were facing unspeakable loss;
• The African Community - St. Marks' kids define their community to include Africa, where many of their ancestors are from, and where one of their teacher's siblings was living while working for the Peace Corp. After learning about a small village in Chad, Africa, the children began a Penny's War to raise money to send basketball equipment to this village. So much money was raised, that a new basketball court is being built to benefit the children of Chad.
As a result of these projects, the children learned that they have the power to improve their own community. The qualities of leadership, teamwork and compassion they learn in their physical education course are expanded to their own world where they "give back" and benefit at the same time.
City Parks Foundation/ CityParks Tennis-
What better way for a city child to spend his/her summer that to be able to participate in a 7 week free tennis program in their neighborhood.
When JH worked with CPF to open three new sites for free summer tennis in 2005, it required that the children participate in a Saturday clean up in the park where they are attending their free summer tennis program.
To foster the pride and respect they should feel in their environment, the children are asked to participate with their instructors and families in the park clean-up.
Last year, the 100 participants carefully picked up trash and weeded planting beds near the park house and tennis course and went on litter patrol, in the soccer and ball fields. Not only did the park benefit from the day, the children felt a lasting pride and connection with their park. This year we anticipate more that tripling the program and look forward to three very clean parks and tennis courts in Queens and the Bronx.
Since 2002, Jeremy's Heroes holds an annual essay contest for the DC Scores kids where 30 winners could attend The American Soccer Academy in Chevy Chase, Md. This was an opportunity that could not have been reached without the help of Jeremy's Heroes. As their community service requirement, the children define "community" as their teams. The 30 lucky winners go back to their respective teams every fall and hold clinics to teach their teammates the skills they acquired over the summer. It is truly an example of where the children become JH kids as eager students, but emerge as confident teachers, having actually been placed in the role of coach.
Adaptive Sports Foundation Ski Team
The winter of 2004-2005 marked Jeremy's Heroes first grant to a ski team. Jeremy Glick was an avid skier and it was extremely rewarding for all involved to see the ADF Ski Team enjoy new racing uniforms, NASTAR passes, and a Parents Weekend to showcase their new race skills for family and friends. The children of the Ski Team were asked to give back to their community through an afternoon of peer coaching. The goal was to build self-confidence by putting the skiers in leadership roles and to encourage other disabled skiers to participate on this team in the future. The Ski Team took very quickly to their roles as instructors and their friends were keen student. Most surprising to Jeremy's Heroes was the hear-warming reaction of the parents who were not accustomed to seeing their children in leadership roles.
KinG Basketball Clinic
In return for basketball clinic tuitions, seven special kids joined by all the clinic participants hosted a free basketball clinic for other children in their community. The purpose of the clinic was to allow the athletes to demonstrate to their peers the skill they acquired, to show the benefits of being a team player and to have some fun. Attendees received organized instruction and made new friends. The JH kids enjoyed being the coaches for the day.
Since 2002, Jeremy's Heroes has worked with Harlem StreetSquash to fund their elite traveling squad. To become Jeremy's Heroes kids, the children must meet academic standards, work to improve their squash skills, display good sportsmanship on and off the squash court throughout the year and perform all community service projects. StreetSquashers have community service projects every Saturday throughout the school year. They work in soup kitchens, stock food banks, clean up parks and are always hard at work looking for other ways to improve their community and their selves. 3 cheers to our JH/StreetSquashers for making community service a part of their everyday routine!!!
Waka Mu Sha Judo Club/ Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta
To help fund an elite traveling Judo team, JH has continued its support to the Waka Mu Sha Judo Club. A grassroots judo club, the elite athletes in this fine Dojo were unable to reach their true potential without our help. In return, this elite team has set up a mentoring program to encourage other neighborhood children to stick to their judo dreams and they too can make the elite team. After seeing 2 of their colleagues go off to the PanAm games in Dominican Republic in 2004, the interest in judo in this area has increased and the children are showing a renewed dedication to this wonderful sport. The responsibilities of maintaining their club, equipment and grounds have also been turned over to the children. They are giving back to their judo community and independently taking care of their environment.
When a request for funding for Carbon Wheelchair racing wheels was made, the community service proposal was a truly inspiring plan. Jim suggested that in return from our help, he could give back to his community by educating other children, both abled and disabled, about the importance of sports for the mind and body. Jim and Jennifer Glick appeared at Jim's school, P.S. 34 in Jersey City, NJ in a crowed auditorium of second, seventh and eight graders. Jim and Jennifer answered questions about sports, Jeremy Glick, and what it takes to be a JH kid. Jim impressed everyone with his composure and communication skills in his first time, ever, speaking engagement. Not only was the assembly informative and inspiring for Jim's school community, Jim gained self-confidence in his newly found teaching role.
When Jeremy's Heroes decided to send 15 of NY Scores Club team players who are entering middle school in the fall, to Riverbank Summer Camp for the entire summer to foster team unity, the JH kids will be required to participate in the fall SCORES program in various capacities by giving back to the NY Scores community. Camp participants pledge to do one or more of the following: to serve as role models and mentors to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students currently in the SCORES after-school program; to serve as volunteer referees at our Friday soccer tournaments; and to serve as assistant soccer coaches in the SCORES program at their old elementary schools. All participants are also required to write a one-page essay or poem about their experience at camp, which Jeremy's Heroes will share with other children to encourage them to become JH kids in the future.
Early Childhood Center of Park Avenue Synagogue
Children are participating in our Kids Helping Kids program without any requirement of community service imposed by JH. We have been fortunate to be able to connect children in need with children willing to give. The children of the Early Childhood Center held a sports equipment drive. They were able to get new and gently used basketballs, soccer balls, baseballs and bats, kickballs, hockey sticks, volleyball equipment and more to a school whose after school program was in dire need of equipment. Our Kids Helping Kids program is an amazing opportunity to unite children despite their economic diversities. JH will help facilitate that connection. Contact Jennifer Glick at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate as a donor or receiving group.
Northern Valley High School
The class of 2003 for their final activity before graduation presented Jeremy's Heroes with a check for $23,000. The High Schoolers held fund raising activities all year with the hopes of raising $20,000. In an incredible philanthropic donation to a children's sports charity, the Senior Class was able to raise $23,000. We are incredibly honored to be the recipients of this donation and commend Northern Valley on their bold charitable efforts.