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John Jay High School Student Creates Field Hockey Fundraiser to Help Special Needs Young Adults

“1,000 Heart Goals for Healing Hearts" 

Morgan Burhance, a rising senior at John Jay High School and a varsity field hockey player, has created a fundraiser for Healing Hearts Adaptive Recreation, a nonprofit organization in Stamford, CT, that provides social and recreational programs for children, teens, and young adults with special needs.

Morgan’s fundraiser is a field hockey goal marathon challenge. Over the next several weeks, Morgan will be attempting to make 1,000 goals in her driveway at a distance of 16 yards (representing the 16-yard hit in field hockey) into a custom-made heart-shaped goal she built to honor the young adults served by Healing Hearts.

Healing Hearts Adaptive Recreation offers programming adapted to the individual's physical and/or cognitive and developmental challenges while emphasizing peer interactions. Friday night Club Night at Healing Hearts is a weekly event where the participants, many who have been coming there for years, socialize, play games and are supported by one another.

Due to the Coronavirus, their weekly gatherings have been cancelled as well as the non-profit’s main annual fundraising event. Morgan had planned to begin a safe floor hockey program with the participants this spring by using “soft” hockey equipment teaching the kids skills and teamwork which had to be postponed. Although disappointed, Morgan decided to use her love of the sport to create a fundraiser on Facebook as a way of giving back during this time of social distancing. Here is the link to her fundraiser:  https://www.facebook.com/donate/500126950702719/101188101612032/ 

Morgan also created a Facebook page called, “Morgan’s Field Hockey Fundraiser for Healing Hearts” where she posts pictures, videos and profiles of the Healing Hearts participants that she is celebrating that day when she’s shooting goals.  To date Morgan has made over 350 goals and has raised over $5,000 for the organization. Here is the link to Morgan’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Morgans-Field-Hockey-Fundraiser-for-Healing-Hearts-100905601640282/?epa=SEARCH_BOX 

As Morgan says, “I have loved playing field hockey for 8 years. For me, it’s been a source of competition, challenge and discipline. Field hockey has taught me the value of teamwork and reaching a goal (no pun intended) so when I made the varsity team at my high school, I was incredibly proud. I wanted to share the joy of this sport with the kids at Healing Hearts and when the Coronavirus changed things a few weeks ago, I was determined to find a way to help. I don’t want anyone to be turned away so I’m hoping this fundraiser will help more kids be able to participate when we can be in-person together again.”

Healing Hearts is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with special needs serving Fairfield County. Healing Hearts strives to build a community to support children with disabilities and their families. Their goal is to provide programs which help children with special needs to develop skills and be as independent as possible.

Programming is adapted to the individual's physical and/or cognitive and developmental challenges while emphasizing peer interactions. Programs are designed to develop friendships, encourage peer interaction, promote fitness, and support independence. Classes are geared toward development of motor skills, eye/hand coordination and socialization as well as recreation.

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