J “Gizmo” Hall Visited UMOM

J “Gizmo” Hall is more than just a pickleball player; he’s a passionate advocate for the expansion of sports, especially among the younger generation. His commitment extends beyond the court as he engages in motivational speaking and pickleball instruction, reaching even at-risk youth in juvenile detention centers nationwide, where he shares his own inspiring journey and instills a love for the game.  

Recently, Gizmo visited one of our site-based programs at UMOM, an emergency shelter for families, where he shared his story and introduced the joy of pickleball to the youth. His own journey, marked by hardships and resilience, serves as a beacon of hope for those facing similar challenges. Through his tireless efforts, Gizmo empowers others to believe in themselves and rewrite their destinies, one swing of the pickleball paddle at a time. His impact transcends words, leaving an indelible mark on hearts and minds, and reminds us all of the transformative power of determination and compassion.  

Based in Goldvein, Virginia, with his family, Gizmo’s vision led to the creation of Pickleball Farm, a nonprofit endeavor aimed at enriching the lives of local youth and families. Through hands-on experiences in agriculture and pickleball sessions, the farm not only empowers individuals but also supports local food banks with its crop donations. 

Beyond his local efforts, Gizmo’s influence reverberates across the country through participation in tournaments, hosting clinics, and delivering motivational talks, all while maintaining an active presence on social media platforms. His mission is clear: to spread awareness of this sport and mental health issues while inspiring individuals to pursue their dreams despite adversity. 

Since launching in the summer of 2022, BBBSAZ has been able to serve and provide mentoring to over 200 youth residing at UMOM. In our Group Mentoring Programs, volunteers meet with 2-3 youth at a time at their designated site and participate in structured activities provided by a BBBS Program Specialist. Volunteers may or may not meet with the same youth each week and will have the opportunity to mentor multiple youth throughout their time in the program. Our Group Mentoring Program is a way for BBBSAZ to collaborate with other youth organizations/non-profits and serve youth that we may not be able to reach in our traditional 1 to 1 mentoring program. If you would like to volunteer at UMOM or any of our other Group Mentoring Site Based locations, please visit our website at https://www.bbbsaz.org/volunteer/

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