How Genesis Health Clubs Makes a Difference in the Community
There are many ways health clubs can give back and make a difference, beyond helping the local community get in better shape. In Wichita, Kansas, Genesis Health Clubs has found a way to make its community a better place.
To help underserved children in its community, the Genesis Foundation for Fitness and Tennis (GFFT) — a nonprofit created by Genesis Health Clubs owner Rodney Steven II in 2006 — launched a new program called “Kicks for Kids.”
As part of the Kicks for Kids program, GFFT donated 1,000 pairs of shoes to children in need at local Kansas schools. Along with receiving new shoes, underserved kids are encouraged to get out and be active.
“We know and believe that physical activity improves quality of life, and that habits learned at an early age result in life-long benefits,” said Steven. “I founded GFFT in 2006 as a way to give back to the community and to help kids be physically active who don’t have the opportunity.”
When putting Kicks for Kids into action, GFFT identified the areas of greatest need. “We’ve focused specifically on schools in high poverty areas where the need was the highest,” explained Steven. “A lot of these kids were wearing hand-me-down shoes that were horribly worn or several sizes too small. It’s hard for a child to learn, let alone get the physical activity they need, when they don’t have shoes that fit.”
Encouraging and facilitating physical activity and health habits in the community has been a longtime goal of not only GFFT, but Genesis Health Clubs, for many years.
“It’s incredibly important to give back to the community,” said Steven. “I firmly believe we are a product of our environment and sadly, some of these kids haven’t had it easy in their short lives so far. It’s important these kids see examples of what is possible through both hard work and kindness.”
To Steven, giving back and being a good example to youth and families in the community are not afterthoughts or byproducts of good business habits — they are part of Genesis Health Clubs’ foundation.
“Ultimately, we rely on the communities we live in to stay in business, so we do everything we can to give back and further a culture of activity and fitness,” said Steven. “It’s good for everyone.”
There are more examples of success than just high membership numbers and beating revenue goals — a good place to start is finding ways to make your community healthier. A healthier community is a happier community, and it all starts with giving kids the opportunity to begin healthy habits early in life.
And according to Steven, that’s why Genesis Health Clubs gives back, and why GFFT exists. “We want every kid out there to have an opportunity to be active, regardless of background, and that’s what GFFT is all about,” he shared.