All Indiana

American Heart Association donates 100 balls to Indianapolis 5th-graders

Indy Heart Walk donates 100 sports balls to 5th graders

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The American Heart Association has given a big donation to a group of fifth-graders at Mary Bryan Elementary as part of an effort to encourage health and exercise.

The American Heart Association collected the balls at the 2019 Indy Heart Walk as part of its “Bring A Ball to the Walk” program.

Walkers donated new sports balls for use in the community.

However, when they had a bunch of balls leftover from the cause, they knew just where to take them: Mary Bryan Elementary.

The school has been a long-time participant in the American Heart Association’s Kid’s Heart Challenge program.

“Just giving back to the community so for me, it is being connected to our community, being connected to these kids who are going to be leading us well into the future,” said Parveen Chand, 2019 Indy Heart Walk chair.

“The balls are just a symbol of physical activity. Physical activity is a starting point for a life long of healthy living,” said Chand.

Jack Heath, principal of Mary Bryan Elementary, explained why he believes this donation will have a special impact on his kids.

“It’s a huge deal. We have a ton of kids who are refugees and immigrants and many of those kids comes without socks, without undergarments and without coats,” he said. “Having these balls is a new experience for them; coming to school and being able to play sports they’ve never been exposed to.”

Heath said the moment he found out his school was getting the donation was an overwhelming feeling.

“I was just overcome with joy,” Heath said. “I really love seeing these children happy and we’re just blessed to have this,” Heath said.

For more information on the American Heart Association’s Indy Heart Walk effort, click here.