Helping children make healthy lifestyle choices when they’re young can be one of the best gifts you can give them. Typically, children will continue the habits they developed in their youth into their adulthood. If this is the case, shouldn’t there be a program that promotes this type of development in children? Enter the MIGHTY Program (Moving, Improving, and Gaining Health Together at the YMCA), made a reality in part by a generous grant from Kohl’s.
With the help of local Kohl’s stores in West Springfield and East Springfield, Baystate Children’s Hospital has received more than $900,000 in gifts and grants since 2006. Funds are raised through special Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise, featuring plush toys and books for children. 100% of the net profits are donated to support children’s initiatives. These funds are now helping to combat childhood obesity by aiding the Baystate Pediatric Weight Management Program in expanding their successful Springfield MIGHTY Program to include the YMCAs in Westfield and Greenfield.
What Makes Up MIGHTY?
MIGHTY takes a holistic approach to weight management and the development of healthy lifestyles. The group format allows children and their families to come together to support one another.
The program provides the following services to children and their families, which cover physical and behavioral components of well-being.
- Fitness evaluations
- Individual fitness prescriptions
- Group exercise sessions
- Individual and group nutritional counseling
- Strategies for maintaining lifelong health
- Safe environment to discuss how weight affects individuals physically and emotionally
Enrollment in the MIGHTY Program also includes a free six-month membership to the YMCA for two adults and the children of the household.
In addition, Kohl’s has provided volunteer support at fundraising events and gifts in kind for the Baystate Health Child Life Program.
In March 2018, in honor of Dr. Seuss’s Birthday, 750 stuffed Star-Bellied Sneetches and 350 Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose books arrived at Baystate Children’s Hospital to be shared with patients.
Learn more about Baystate Health Foundation.