Striving to create change
February is Black History Month. Each year, a theme for the celebration of Black History Month is designated by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. The theme for 2022 is Black Health and Wellness–recognizing and honoring the activities, rituals, and initiatives that Black Communities are doing to be well. This year in honor of Black History Month, we are highlighting Black individuals and organizations and the essential roles they play in our local communities.
A special thank you to Kaiser Permanente who shares our passion for this Endeavor and is partnering with us to make this possible.
healthy moves – denise thomas
how and why did healthy moves start?
Healthy Moves was started because of my personal business name “Let’s Move, LLC." When President Obama's wife, Michelle Obama, started her focus on childhood obesity, somehow her staff found my business name. And since I had not trademarked it back in 1988, they were able to use the name. However, I was also able to keep the name to continue my business that I started in NYC. This information, forming a national campaign, brought my attention to what was not happening in the Eugene/Springfield area for PE classes for our youth. So my focus was drawn to what kids were not getting in PE classes. Kids thought PE was about just running or tag games. Not many skills were being taught. I felt it was time for traditional PE to be brought back to our schools with activities that are fun with a twist that makes PE Classes fun and different! By fitness trainers with all sorts of training and backgrounds in different modalities.
why was it important to you to be a part of this initiative?
It’s important because who knows when your time is up. To bring PE classes back to elementary schools, work on improving PE classes, and supporting classroom teachers who have to give up prep time to teach PE. Plus, continuing to bring forth what HM the business motto is, “Getting humans to move." Kids should be active and healthy so they grow up to be active adults in our communities.
what specific services does healthy moves provide for the community?
Free Programs for local elementary schools. We offer 7 programs for schools and community organizations that need physical movement added to their programs. Community events, school classes as well as before, after school programs. Learn more info at: www.hm4kids.org.
where do you see healthy moves going in the near future?
I see Healthy Moves continuing to support locally in Lane County (Eugene and Springfield.) Our mission is to go outside the local community. We are in Lowell School District. We want to be in more rural communities. As well as take our model to Portland and across the country in other states.
how can the business community best support healthy moves?
Supporting Healthy Moves financially. By donating items to our auctions and raffles. Supporting our local fundraisers with attendance. Being donors and or title sponsors. Joining our board and giving experience and knowledge towards our mission. Sharing information about what Healthy Moves is about and what we are doing by supporting educational fitness to youth in our communities.