Last weekend, HGTV host Carter Oosterhouse stood in a Dallas gymnasium and got to announce the arrival of superstar Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade.
While not one of their hometown players, Wade was in town for the NBA’s All-Star weekend, and the duo received cheers not only for their on-camera talents, but for the time they were committing to the Turnkey Boys & Girls Club of southern Dallas.
Oosterhouse’s nonprofit organization Carter’s Kids works to promote fitness and self-esteem to young people.
With much of the nation’s focus on the childhood obesity epidemic, America’s Boys & Girls Clubs need added attention to encourage healthy, active lifestyles.
“The Boys & Girls Clubs do wonderful things,” Oosterhouse said. “[The Turnkey Boys & Girls Club] is the oldest in Dallas. It had seen better days.”
Carter’s Kids, along with the Wade’s World Foundation — Dwyane Wade’s nonprofit entity — completely refurbished the club, built a new playground, repainted the gym walls and added new lights, in what they called The Big Assist.
“The reaction was amazing,” Oosterhouse said. “That’s why I started Carter’s Kids. When you get that natural response that only kids can give, it’s so worthwhile. They were so excited to see [Dwyane Wade]. They felt it was really cool that people were reaching out and supporting them.”
The Wade’s World Foundation supports education and health for at-risk children through local programs. Wade has said his goal is to leave the world better than he found it, based on his mother’s encouragement that life is bigger than basketball.
Oosterhouse agrees that community-based involvement is where to start.
“I definitely think you have to be local first,” he said. “Whatever you can do, whether it’s your local school or a local Boys & Girls Club. There’s the front line of trying to attack this problem and curb childhood obesity.”