CQuence Health Group Heart Ball Volunteers

CQuence Health Group employees volunteered their time and transported the sports ball donations to be on display at the American Heart Association’s Omaha Heart Ball.

It seems almost every generation looks back on the good old days with some nostalgia. What do you remember about growing up?

For me, most of my childhood memories revolve around playing ball with my two brothers, either formally with my dad as our baseball coach or informally with the neighbors. Other days were spent swimming at the pool and participating in swim meets.

I can remember lying in bed at the end of a long summer day and wishing I was still outside playing. In fact, my mom threatened to limit our time spent playing outdoors in order to keep the Cassling boys in line. It usually worked.

But now, I see that times have changed for the new generations growing up. Outside time has been replaced with screen time. This screen time-while it is creating a tech-savvy generation-means kids are spending less time being active, which can lead to unhealthy habits and, eventually, even health issues.

It’s also sad to think about the many kids who live in unsafe neighborhoods and don’t have the luxury of playing ball outside. They are stuck inside and don’t have the opportunity to get the physical activity they need and deserve.

Mike Cassling, CQuence Health Group CEO, passed out balls to All Saints Catholic School students who attend Completely Kids, a youth program serving thousands of Omaha children and their families, giving them tools to break the cycle of poverty.

That’s why I’m so grateful for the American Heart Association-Nebraska and its efforts to raise awareness and donations of much-needed sports balls to benefit under-served youth. We are coming together as a community to ensure that kids have the equipment they need to do what they do best-play.

Employees of CQuence, Ensocare and Cassling had a ball donating footballs, basketballs, volleyballs, tennis balls, kickballs, wiffle balls and baseballs. If it has a ‘ball’ in the name, you can bet it was in our bin. Someone even gave a bowling ball!

Our sports ball donations were joined by other Omaha-area employers’ and community members’ contributions at the Omaha Heart Ball hosted by the AHA. In total, more than 350 sports balls were collected.

And here’s the best part. We loaded up the balls and quickly put them to good use, taking them to All Saints Catholic School. Students there who participate in an after-school program run by Completely Kids selected their ball of choice to take home and play with their families. Completely Kids also got new basketballs to replace its worn-out gym equipment.

The smiles on their faces were priceless. It truly was a privilege to take part in this effort. I’m so grateful to our CQuence employees and other Omaha employers and community members who participated in the sports ball drive. The donations definitely will go a long way toward ensuring  activity stays top-of-mind and children form healthy habits to last a lifetime.

Stay tuned. This spring, we’ll be challenging corporations and employers from across the greater Omaha area to collect and donate even more sports balls.

Together, we can bring back the good old days so kids can get out and play.