5% Project Origins
This project was born out of a powerful experience my wife and I had while visiting South Africa for our anniversary. We spent some time at an orphanage in Loskop, in the province of Kwazulu-Natal, where I had my world rocked.
South Africa as a whole has more HIV-positive citizens than any other country. Within South Africa’s provinces, KwaZulu-Natal has the highest rate of HIV infection — 39 percent, according to UNAIDS in 2009. Without proper nutrition, health care and medicine that is available in developed countries, large numbers of people suffer and die from AIDS-related complications. In some heavily infected areas, the epidemic has left behind many orphans cared for by elderly grandparents.
Enter the Kwethu Children’s Village. Kwethu is an AIDS orphange in Loskop serving children from the area whose lives have been torn apart by AIDS. It is overseen by an incredible couple, JD and Barbara, and their niece Jules, an incredibly courageous nurse, who provides healthcare to the sickest and the poorest through Dreams for Africa. Spending just a week at the orphanage and meeting people in the surrounding villages through JD, Barbara, and Jules opened my eyes to a world of hurt as well as incredible love. The orphanage asked us to bring any used soccer gear we could round up. I came to the members of XCF with a request for used gear they might have and the response was nothing short of incredible. I went back to Barbara and asked for a dream list they never thought we could fulfill. The athletes of XCF responded to this challenge with unbelievable generosity. We got everything they wanted and more. Almost every item was new and once there was nothing left to buy people started handing me money to use any way we could once we arrived. Needless to say the kids were blown away. We were able to bring considerable joy to these children simply by sharing out of our abundance. My wife and I decided we would stay connected in relationship and with resources. I recognized that through the fitness community that I helped to build, my circle of influence was exceptionally broad.
With the help of every athlete at Xplore CrossFit we are working to affect a positive change in the world.
We give 5% of the revenue at Xplore CrossFit to support our local and global causes. We give of our time in the gym with no-cost training, and we give of our time and talents abroad by volunteering at the orphanage when we can. It is a great opportunity for people to give just by participating. There are greater opportunities for financial support if you are interested. Updates to the project will be posted to the XCF Blog. 100% of the money donated goes straight to the place it is needed. There is no overhead for this project so there is a direct and tangible effect.
Current Global Project
The 5% project has arms that reach clear around the world to an orphanage in South Africa. Kwethu receives direct monetary support from XCF as well as people ready to serve in any way they can. We took a second trip to the Kwethu last year and took my sister and Irvine along this time. The four of us worked on a variety of projects including painting, graphic design for a small business project supporting women in the area, and business development. They are in the midst of building a sustainable farming project that will improve the quality of food that the kids have access to as well as provide affordable quality food to the community. This year we are raising money for the first phase of the farming project which will be a chicken ranch. Protein deficiency is a major problem in this area and this project will be a shot right to the heart of that issue.
Upcoming Local Project
Our local project involves a no-cost power lifting program in partnership with the Union Gospel Mission. We firmly believe in the healing power of functional movements in addition to prayer so we are starting this project to offer participants a chance to strengthen their bodies while they put their lives back together.
We are also open to new projects here and Seattle and the world at large.