Every Club Director, coach or youth sports leader has an opinion or concern about the entitlement of our youth. It’s easy to point fingers at the parents, but junior volleyball clubs and youth organizations have the opportunity to make an impact as they provide a platform for building character and selflessness. There are many ways in which a club and its coaches can positively build character and encourage excellence. Here are 4 examples of organizations who give back to others, helping them set up for success this holiday season.

Alliance Holiday Benefit Event

This season Alliance Volleyball Club held its 4th annual Alliance Holiday Events: 3 vs. 3 Tournament (for ages 13 & 14s, 15-18) and “Merry Fitness and Training” Program (for ages 11 and 12s along with their parents). The proceeds of both events exclusively contribute to Alliance’s Financial Assistance Program geared to help offset the fees associated with club. Each year the club supports 20+ families in making a contribution to their fees.

The 3 vs. 3-event format has 2 brackets of play. One for athletes ages 13 & 14 and another for athletes 15-18. All teams will add “+1” who is one coach, who won’t roam the sidelines coaching, but will join the team to play! Throughout the day, each team receives multiple new coaches to play with. Alliance directors create teams based upon age, position and ability. It’s a great way for our players to get to better know one another, our coaches and compete in a unique format.

“Merry Fitness and Training” is a joint program for players and parents from Alliance 11s and 12s teams. All participants will go through a fun (and challenging) conditioning circuit, then train and compete in a 6 vs. 6 tournament. Lace’em up parents and join your daughters on the courts! The cost for both events is $25 per player (no cost to parents).

Final numbers:

3 vs 3 “+1” (ages 13-18)                               77 kids (22 coaches volunteered to play and coach)

Merry Fitness & Training (ages 11 & 12)      14 kids

Total cost to participate                                 $2275

Holiday Benefit Contributions                       $1225

Total raised                                                   $3500

Premier Academy: Toys for Tots

Premier Academy’s (Maumee, Ohio) Annual Toys for Tots Tournament is one of the club’s favorite traditions. The tournament began in 2005 as an adult only tournament but in 2000 the high school triples level was also added. Each year, roughly 20 teams enter this fun holiday event as a way to play a sport they love, but more importantly to give to a great cause.

As part of their entry fee, each participant brings an unwrapped toy worth approximately $10 that will be given to Toys for Tots at their annual toy drive on Thanksgiving weekend. This year Premier will donate about 80 toys to the Toys for Tots organization that will eventually be given to needy boys and girls all around northwest Ohio. Premier’s hope is that their small gesture will help to ensure every child has a toy to unwrap on Christmas day.

AVA of Texas Charity Events

AVA of Texas organizes several charity events each season. AVA 18 Rox visited the Shriner Center in Galveston, Texas. This is a center for severe burn-victims of all ages, but has a high number of children. The athletes brought brand new stuffed animals to give to the children, and they played games and colored pictures with them.

AVA 16 Rox and 17 Rox participated in Operation Christmas Child through the Samaritan’s Purse Foundation. Athletes filled shoeboxes with small toys and necessities and wrote letters to kids overseas. These boxes were gift-wrapped and dropped off to be delivered to children in need in Africa.

Other teams have adopted families in need and will be hand-delivering Christmas presents for the kids and parents based on a needs’ list.

Junior Volleyball Association: JVA Sponsorship Program

The Junior Volleyball Association has always made it a priority to give back to its member clubs. Entering it’s 10th year as a 501-3c, one of the organization’s guiding principles has always been transparency of finances. After several successful JVA World Challenge events, the leadership of the JVA agreed that $200,000 should be rewarded to the JVA member clubs for promoting the JVA brand, supporting the JVA mission, and growing JVA at the regional and national level.

The second year of the JVA Sponsorship Program includes 46 junior volleyball clubs from around the country who received a check from JVA and in return, agreed to promote JVA on their uniforms, their webpage and in their facility. They also agreed to build JVA shared resources by writing an article, submitting a video or hosting a webinar. We appreciate their support of the JVA and it’s mission. View the list of honorees here.

We are extremely lucky to have a platform to shape the lives of hundreds and thousands of young leaders and student athletes at this special time of the year. By showing appreciation and gratuity to others, we can truly shape the character of our players, and bring special light to others this holiday season.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

About the Author

Briana Schunzel is the Marketing Coordinator for the JVA. Since she joined the JVA in 2011 Briana has been fortunate to share many success stories of JVA member clubs. As rewarding as it is to win a tournament or win a championship, it is just as rewarding to see junior volleyball players and coaches coming together for a life changing cause. In March of this year, Briana’s two year old son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. It was only a matter of days before the support of the volleyball community poured in, and to this day she is incredibly grateful.