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Catholic Youth Organization – Pack the Pantries

By Jim Sliney Jr.

The Catholic Youth Organization is known for providing programs based on integrity, fair play and the right of all individuals to participate; it goes well beyond teaching of athletic skills. The goal of their programs is to offer opportunities to develop moral standards in young people. CYO is taking that commitment and redirecting it to an extraordinary fundraising campaign.

Catholic Charities of New York is known for a lot of things, but one thing that comes to mind most is providing food to the hungry.

As we all know by now, it’s not safe for people to gather in large groups. That put a hard, fast restriction on the sporting events CYO sponsors as well as on the traditional food pantry locations. But innovation, as they say, is the mother of invention.

When the CYO figured out how to conduct a series of virtual sporting events it opened the door for a special partnering. The kids that were participating in live sporting events through CYO now have the opportunity to get track and field and calisthenics supervision and events over the phone or internet using Zoom. Alone, this is a remarkable innovation, but what is most noteworthy is what they have decided to do with it.

THE VIRTUAL TRACK & FIELD CHARITY MEET – “PACK OUR PANTRIES”

Individual young athletes choose 3 events that they will participate in remotely. They register, perform their athletic meet, submit their results on the honor system, and those get compared with others in their specific events.

The magic happens when each athlete obtains “pledges” from people supporting them in their event. Those pledges become the funds that are raised by the overall event.

Events include shot-put (what?!), soup-can shot-put, standing long jump, consecutive cartwheels, crunches, pushups and more, including classics like running. And the kids are being motivated by more than altruism. They are also getting a pep talk from Olympian track and field athlete, Wily Banks.

The money that is being raised is going directly towards supporting the food pantries served by Catholic Charities of New York. The end result is a unique partnership: Kids run - People pledge - Hungry folks eat.

HERE’S HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Go to https://www.givingzone.com/project/owjFQsl2O4/ .

The deadline is JUNE 1st, 2020 so ACT NOW!

There you can find your favorite athlete and pledge to them, or you can donate directly to the PACK THE PANTRIES fund. Either way, that money helps keep Catholic Charities’ food pantries full and gets food to those who need it.