This is a sponsored post on behalf of Glade®. All opinions are 100% my own.
Last summer, both of my kids participated in Little League baseball, and we spent many nights ferrying them around to their various practices and games. My husband and I have talked about starting our five-year-old daughter in dance classes, but we haven’t decided exactly where we would like to enroll her. Our biggest concern with starting our son in music lessons is which room we should place our piano. My kids have options and opportunities.
Not all kids do. In my own state, many kids have few or no opportunities for safe after-school activities. Some spend the summer months hanging out on the streets because they don’t have access to the programs and classes that my children do.
I love everything about Michigan, and want to see the area that I’m from succeed. Unfortunately, Detroit is the most visible example of hardship in Michigan. The media likes to show the crumbling buildings and overgrown lots… and sadly they do exist. But there are people out there making a difference too.
The Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program offers a safe and productive place for kids to go after school and during the summer. The gym supports a “Books Before Boxing” initiative, and helps these student athletes learn study habits through this volunteer tutor program. As the kids begin to learn the physical skill of boxing, they are also learning to communicate, resolve conflicts and celebrate successes together. The kids who participate in the program are also required to participate in community service. Some help Detroit’s Forgotten Harvest, while others play baseball with The Miracle League (a team in Plymouth, Michigan, for children with special needs). And the program is completely free.
The Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program recently moved to a new location to accommodate more youth. In its former location, the gym could only accommodate 65 students. Now, in its new facility, the program will be able to accommodate 150 kids by 2017. Of the students who have completed the gym’s program, 100 percent have graduated high school and most have gone on to college. This is something I feel very strongly about, as I believe all kids should have the chance to learn and grow in their communities. This amazing Detroit nonprofit not only teaches these kids invaluable life skills, but it also brings joy to their day. I am glad to be a part of a campaign to give a little bit of joy back to the founders, volunteers and students at the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program.
This year, I’m partnering with Glade® on its mission to encourage people to spread and feel little moments of joy that are often overlooked during the holiday season. According to a recent survey commissioned by Glade®, Detroiters are 77 percent more likely than the average American to feel stress from holiday-related hosting duties.
So together with Glade®, we want to remind people what the holidays are really about, and bring small moments of joy to communities around the country that are maybe in need of some holiday cheer. I thought the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program deserved a little joy this holiday season, and wanted to give back to the people that make Detroit great.
Glade® will be lighting up the area around the boxing gym with a holiday light display. Glade® will also light up and decorate four other public spaces across the nation, providing bright and joyous destinations for families to visit during the holidays. The lighting display at the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program will launch on November 27, 2015 and be up through January 15th, I really can’t wait to see it!
I will be posting photos from the light display on social media, and I will recap my experience on the blog here in a few weeks. In the meantime, check out FeelingsofJoy.com to learn more about how Glade® is reminding people that joy is the greatest gift this holiday season. Don’t forget to share your joyful moments, using the hash tag #FeelJoy.
Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program:
6445 E Vernor Hwy.
Detroit, MI 48207