My sister and I grew up poor, raised by a single mother, and I remember wanting to do a lot more than we could afford. Lots of kids grew up like we did. Times were hard. I remember when my dad left. I remember Mom saying we would make it even though my sister and I saw the uncertainty in her eyes. As a kid, I wondered how. It took a long time before I knew the truth. Friends and family came together and helped when they could, but it was anonymous compassionate people (and perhaps the will of God) that made survival possible. Their kindness also enabled my training in martial arts, which changed my life forever, and I wasn’t the only one. My instructor, Earle Marvin, and his successor, Matt Avant, have been training hard-luck kids and teens for decades. In fact, most martial arts instructors have some sort of pro bono/scholarship program to help underprivileged youth. We help a few, but I have a vision of helping on a larger scale. We need a little help.
The US Census website, updated November 19, 2018, indicates the federal poverty threshold for a family of four with two kids was $24,339. It is reported that 54% of those families have only one parent who works full time. It’s easy to see how many kids get left behind. They have to find activities to do on their own, such as playing video games, watching YouTube, or endlessly staring at cell phones and other devices. These kids and teens often suffer from sleep difficulties, mental health problems, or physical health issues as a result. Type II diabetes and obesity are more common now than ever. Suicide is prevalent, and drug abuse is rampant. When kids start suffering from these problems, they begin feeling alone and can easily fall into depression, struggle with anxiety, and even find solace in the wrong crowd. These bad decisions happen while Mom and Dad are out trying to do the best they can. Kids need better options. We are building better options. We are changing lives at Conway Toe2Toe. These kids are our mission.
The American Academy of Pediatrics conducted research indicating that martial arts have been effective in building muscle strength, balance, and enhancing flexibility, as well as helping build cognitive function, self-esteem, self-respect, and self-awareness. Martial arts have also been shown to lessen physically and verbally aggressive behavior in kids. I think we all can agree that everyone, especially our kids today, needs a safe environment, where they can let off some steam from the everyday stresses, where they can be proud of themselves and enjoy a sense of accomplishment, all while being surrounded by positive adult role models. We want to give every child the advantage they need to succeed.
Conway Toe2Toe has a new idea. Our “It Takes a Village” program, pays for underprivileged kids to train in our martial arts and fitness programs. It is a perpetually funded program based on help from our compassionate community donors. In essence, you are giving a young child/teen the ability to grow and succeed.
Consider one of these ways of donating and accept our humble thanks with each gift:
- $50/month Standard donation (It Takes a Village T-Shirt)
- $100/month Bronze donation (Concealed Carry Class and T-Shirt)
- $150/month Silver donation (Enhanced Carry Class and T-Shirt)
- $200/month Gold donation (Group Exercise Classes and T-Shirt)
- $200+/month Platinum donation (Personal/Private Training of choice and T-Shirt)
You can follow these great kids on Facebook at Toe2ToeMA@facebook.com, and we will invite you to our group page “It Takes a Village” to see their progress, promotions, and personal growth.
For more information on this program, you can call (501)515-4788 or email Toe2ToeConway@gmail.com