The primary purpose of H.E.A.R.T 4 Kids is to promote health, education, attitude, recreation, and team work (H.E.A.R.T.) for youth and facilitate the development and delivery of a positive environment for young people.
The primary vision of H.E.A.R.T 4 Kids is to equip & empower our youth with tools to excel in all aspects of life. This is our core value and is realized in every activity and event that we do. Our programs are designed to develop the entire individual to build self-confidence, self-awareness, and functional skills for the game of life.
2009 is when it all began. We had a dream of providing a community experience for our children to bond with other children in the community. Our first try was a recreation-based basketball team. We recruited the top kids from the recreation center teams to carry on the basketball season. We had to scrape up kids from three different grades in order to get 12 kids on our very first team. Competition year one started at the recreation center and expanded to the Ohio Youth Basketball Association (OYBA). We had so much fun in 2009, we did it again in 2010. This time we had 5 teams worth of basketball players. We had fun and learned to compete. Due to our great success at basketball, it was time to expand to a larger scale and launch a football organization. It was time to give Columbus ICE (Inspiring Children to Excellence) a chance to make a larger footprint.
H.E.A.R.T. 4 Kids (H4K) a 501 (c)3 not for profit was started in 2011 to serve as the backbone to Columbus ICE. H4K provided the infrastructure for tutoring and mentoring that typically isn’t associated with a sports team. We would offer tutoring anywhere we could, outside at the football field, on someone’s patio or kitchen table. Wherever a need could be met, we seized an opportunity. We appreciated the support of some local churches or day care centers who would lend us some space in a basement or unused conference room for a few hours. That grew to more intensive sessions to assist with projects and science fair entries. Even older kids would come back and seek assistance in high school or with college exam preparation. Word spread quickly that H4K was serious about helping not only children but their families.
From the classroom to the kitchen table, we step in and help families with free meals and community drop ins for resources. Our annual Thanksgiving dinner drive has been a staple in the community since 2015. We are blessed to feed over 300 families with all the trimmings for a holiday meal for family sizes from 2 to 8 and beyond.
We volunteered with HandsOn Central Ohio to serve meals at senior community centers, volunteered with games, free food and giveaways at community housing to bless those in needs and realize that the world is bigger than just sports and bigger than all of us.
Another holiday staple is the annual toy drive. We started as helpers in 2013 and through our commitment and strong work ethic became one of the signature collaborators with Toys for Tots to sponsor the largest toy drive in Central Ohio blessing over 1,000 households at the holidays.
We seek to enrich the lives of our children and provide exposure to the fullness of life, rather it be a petting zoo, city government officials, public speaking opportunities, magic shows or making your magic though the creativity of your mind, there is something special about the H4K experience.