CrossFit unites its global community in the fight against catastrophic children’s illnesses. Chris Cooper reports.
It costs US$1.9 million to turn the lights on every morning and run St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for a day. Some celebrities contribute, but the majority of donations are just from average folks around the world. Incredibly, 70 percent of all donations made to St. Jude are for $30 or less.
Thirty bucks isn’t much, and it certainly doesn’t buy much in a hospital. That’s where the global CrossFit community comes in. There are now more than 6,000 CrossFit affiliates. Imagine if 10 members in each affiliate decided to donate just $30 to CrossFit for Hope. That’s the price of a skipping rope. Do the math, and you’ve suddenly got $1.8 million. If you get 20 members per affiliate, the number doubles to $3.6 million.
CrossFit’s goal last year: to raise enough money through the Hope fundraising campaign to pay St. Jude’s costs for a single day. The community succeeded. This year, the goals are loftier.
CrossFit for Hope is the umbrella for several initiatives all designed to help people in need. In 2012, St. Jude was a major beneficiary. Almost $300,000 has been raised through the Hope for Kenya initiative, which funds health and education improvements near Mombasa. Already in 2013, CrossFit for Kenya raised $60,000 through donations made during athlete registration for the CrossFit Open. That money will fund the building of four new schools in a country where education adds years to life expectancy.
“We have a bunch of fit, intelligent, caring people in this community, and they rally,” said Jimi Letchford of CrossFit HQ.