The YMCA of Greater Tulsa wasn’t about to break tradition, even for a pandemic.

For more than 25 years, the annual Healthy Kids Day has been an opportunity for the YMCA to teach healthy habits, encourage active play and inspire a love for physical activity.

To celebrate this year’s Healthy Kids Day, which is Saturday, the YMCA of Greater Tulsa is handing out 1,500 soccer balls to participants of its year-round and summer camps. The balls are being picked up at the kids’ schools or hand-delivered by their favorite staff members.

“Although our buildings are temporarily closed, the Y is staying very busy helping Tulsans,” said Kyle Wilkes, vice president of mission advancement for the YMCA of Greater Tulsa. “It is beautiful to see volunteers, partners and staff work together to put others first, to say we are here to serve.”

Wearing masks and gloves in adherence with CDC guidelines, YMCA staffers and volunteers spent Thursday and Friday handing out sanitized soccer balls to kids and their families at Sequoyah and Eugene Field elementary schools. Each ball is accompanied by an activity book provided by FC Tulsa, and kids also have access to soccer lessons at

Because of COVID-19, YMCA of Greater Tulsa branches are closed, and after-school camps are among the many programs affected. The YMCA is embracing creative ways to interact with kids while following social distancing protocols.

“The Y is very excited about the opportunity to serve our children and families differently during this unique time,” Wilkes said. “Since 1909, the YMCA of Greater Tulsa has pivoted to support community needs regardless of what the challenges may be.”

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Kelly Hines 918-581-8452

Twitter: @KellyHinesTW

Sports Writer

Kelly has covered college football and college basketball for the World since 2012. She spends her spare time as an animal rescue volunteer, focusing on spaying and neutering community cats in the Tulsa area. Phone: 918-581-8452

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