April 10, 2019

Today we talk with Alicia Hicks and Sergeant Wayne Delk from the Cobb Police Athletics League.  Later in the show, Bruce Gale interviews this week's Kid Heroes, Reagan & Payton Garnsey.

There are 46 million young people, aged 8 - 18, living in America. An estimated 16 million of these youths are growing up without a mentor in their lives. That's one out of every three kids who, aside from their family at home, don't have a trusted adult who they feel they can turn to for advice and guidance.  Sports is a great way for mentors to connect with these youth.

Numerous studies have shown that when youth lack a stable home life or a positive adult presence, this can lead to the development of youth violence and aggression. Children are more likely to develop internalizing problems like depression and externalizing problems such as aggression — both placing these youth at greater risk for violence and school failure.

Because sports coaches interact with their athletes every day through practices, games, team building and work-outs, they tend to become one of the strongest adult role models young people come in contact with. 

A Big Brothers Big Sisters study found that kids who participated in mentorship programs were:

• 52% less likely than their peers to skip school

• 46% less likely to start using drugs

• 27% less likely to begin drinking alcohol

This brings us to today's highlighted charity, Cobb Police Athletics League...

Cobb Police Athletic League (PAL) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of young people ages 4-18. Cobb PAL focuses on juvenile crime prevention through athletic and recreational activities.  Police officers serve as coaches and mentor the children.  Cobb PAL now offers a competitive track program, a football camp, midnight basketball, baseball camp, soccer camp, stepping, martial arts, and mentoring. @CobbPAL

The PAL program was founded in 1914 in New York City.  PAL is a national program with a membership exceeding 1.5 million children and more than 400 law enforcement agencies serving over 700 cities with 1,700 facilities throughout the United States.

Bev had the opportunity to talk with Alicia Hicks, Executive Director and Sergeant Wayne Delk, Public Information Officer. 

Founded in 2017 by 11-year-old Reagan & 6-year-old Payton Garnsey, two sisters from Delaware, The Buckets of Love Foundation is helping make a difference for children who need it the most.  Their mission is simple - spreading joy by filling buckets with age appropriate toys, games and crafts for deserving children ages 2 - 12 receiving medical care, residing in homeless shelters or are otherwise facing a difficult situation.

As of March 2019, the organization had donated a total of 6,555 buckets in all 50 states, “helping bring smiles to children’s faces one bucket at a time.”

In June 2018, Reagan and Payton were recipients of the Jefferson Awards Foundation LEAD360 award, which honors fun, simple and scalable projects created by youth committed to community service.  @BucketsOfLoveFoundation

Bruce Gale brings us an interview with Reagan and Payton.

Reagan and Payton Garnsey
Reagan and Payton Garnsey