It’s tax season. If you are in line for a refund, think of the Jays Care Foundation first and spare them a few dollars before rushing out to the liquor store!
Since 1992, Jays Care Foundation has been empowering children and youth in need, inspiring them to make positive choices and helping them realize their dreams by providing access to programs that support physical activity, education, and life-skill development.
One of the programs that JCF funds is a “Rookie League” – a summer-long baseball day camp for kids living in Toronto Community Housing Neighbourhoods.
In 2009, more than 500 kids from 24 different Toronto Community Housing neighbourhoods participated in Rookie League. Each week, volunteers from the Blue Jays and Rogers Centre family, and from local minor baseball organizations, provide participants with valuable baseball skill development instruction, while emphasizing the values of teamwork, partnership, and cooperation in life beyond the baseball diamond.
In my formative years I was the child of a single parent living below the low-income cutoff in Toronto. Baseball was a way for me to learn how to be part of a team, build self esteem and all those good things that is critical to a child’s development. If I had the opportunity to participate in a program such as the Rookie League offered by JCF then I might have turned into a bigger stud than I already am today. All jokes aside, I do not want to understate the importance of a program like this to disadvantaged youth.
2009 was the first year that the Jays Care Foundation was able to provide over $1-million in support for the Toronto community. More than 12, 500 children and youth in need were provided with programs, facilities, support and access to opportunities for healthy physical activity and sport, education and life skill development. This includes funding to Pathways to Education – funding that realized a 43% decrease in absenteeism among Grade 9 students in the Lawrence Park Community. As well, the St. Albion Boys & Girls Club received $125,000 through the Field of Dreams program to help fund the redeveopment of its Jane & Finch community Centre.
This is great news, however there are more kids that need to be helped and the Jays Care Foundation makes it easy for you to donate.
Remember that awesome picture of Roy Halladay? Or how about a menacing-looking Kelly Gruber on the golf course? Well, you can be a part of these two events: The Jays Care Gala and the Jays Care Golf Tournament. You can feel good about your night or day of deviance and debauchery knowing that the proceeds go to making a major difference in the lives of the children and youth who benefit from Jays Care programs and outreach initiatives. Maybe I’ll see you there!