HANOVER, N.H.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Since its founding in 2010, Positive Tracks has helped young people turn sweat into gold by awarding carefully selected charity partners with challenge grants that match youth fundraising dollars generated through charitable athletic events.
Now, with help from a $25,000 grant from Highland Street Foundation, Positive Tracks has activated a new partnership with Playworks Massachusetts, furthering the youth-empowerment missions of all three youth organizations.
Highland Street Foundation and Positive Tracks have aligned goals to engage Generation Next in community activism and philanthropy. Both believe that every young person - regardless of demographic - brings something important to the table, whether it’s creativity, a sense of humor, organizational skills, or lung capacity. Success goes beyond dollars raised, and hinges on the feeling that young people experience when they know they’ve helped make the world a better place.
A projected 2,800 young people from Massachusetts will rise to Positive Tracks’ “get active and give back” call to action this year. Youth “Trackers” are organizing soccer, basketball and lacrosse tournaments. They’re running 5Ks and Marathons, organizing Kick Ball tournaments and Dance-a-thons. And with help from local Massachusetts partners like Highland Street Foundation, Positive Tracks is doubling youth impact by doubling youth dollars. By the end of 2014, 36,000 young people will leverage 221,000 miles of athletic activity to raise over $4,000,000 for 12 charity partners nationally, four of which are based in Massachusetts.
Playworks Massachusetts, an organization that improves the health and well-being of children through physical activity and safe, meaningful play, is the newest Massachusetts partner to join Positive Tracks charity partner mix. In September, Positive Tracks awarded Playworks Massachusetts with a $50,000 Youth Challenge Grant to match youth dollars raised through Playworks' 5K Run for Recess, Developmental Sports Leagues, and Boston Marathon Team. Playworks has set the ambitious goal of engaging 1,500 Massachusetts youth in helping to energize education all while experiencing the power of hands-on philanthropy.
Positive Tracks Founder, Nini Meyer, believes that philanthropy and athletics make for a powerful alchemy. Meyer says, “Using the power of your own body—your feet, mind and heart—to activate change fuels ownership and genuine transformation. Positive Tracks’ dual-pronged mission fights obesity and promotes youth wellness, while teaching philanthropy and social entrepreneurship at an early stage. Support from Highland Street Foundation enables us to expand our reach, enabling more Massachusetts young people to connect to causes they care about – all while helping themselves.”
Highland Street Foundation is equally committed to getting kids active and engaged. The Foundation sponsored a complete renovation of the underutilized playground on Boston Common, transforming it into the TADpole Playground, an imaginative play environment that is now one of the most well-used playgrounds in the Boston vicinity. The Highland Street Foundation's Youth Philanthropy Initiative (HSYPI) engages and educates middle, high school, and college-aged youth, empowering them to collectively choose and fund community nonprofit organizations. In three years, HSYPI has trained more than 400 students to donate $300,000 to locally-based nonprofit organizations. “Through our work, we have found that youth have an inherent desire to want to give back,” said Blake Jordan, Executive Director of the Highland Street Foundation. “Positive Tracks is tapping into that passion and leveraging the skills of young people to create positive change in our communities. We are proud to play a small role in this powerful initiative.”
ABOUT HIGHLAND STREET FOUNDATION: The Highland Street Foundation is a family foundation committed to addressing the needs and concerns of children and families in Massachusetts and California. Since its establishment in 1989, the McGrath Family and the Highland Street Foundation have contributed more than $135 million to many worthy non-profit organizations.
ABOUT POSITIVE TRACKS: Positive Tracks is a national, youth-centric nonprofit that helps young people get active and give back using the power of sport. Hemenway & Barnes LLP provides administrative, philanthropic and legal services.