This Mitzvah Project profile is due to the combined efforts of best friends Justin Fromme and Ryan Capps (pictured left). They have known each other for 10 years and have been training in martial arts for the past seven.
They decided to hold a kick-a-thon on January 23, 2010 and together they raised $3550.00 for the KICKSTART KIDS organziation. Please continue reading to learn more about their amazing project in their own words:
MM: Can you give us details of your Mitzvah Project?
J&R: This Mitzvah Project was a team effort, because we decided to perform ours together. Our Bar Mitzvah dates are just a few weeks apart, we are best friends and have many of the same interests. So when it came time to think about social action, it was easy: combine our shared love of karate with our social action responsibility. So we found an organization called Kickstart, which was founded by Chuck Norris.
Kickstart provides martial arts training programs for underprivileged children. With Kickstart karate programs, these children achieve better grades, have better attendance and graduation records, and are given the tools they need to help stay away from gangs, drugs and other negative influences. We are both junior black belts in Kaizen karate. We both know what this type of training and commitment has done for us, and wanted to help make this possible for at-risk kids that could really benefit from it. So we decided to hold a kick-a-thon at our karate school to raise money for Kickstart.
MM: Why did you decide to take on this particular project/charity?
J&R: We wanted to find a way to incorporate our love of martial arts, plus the ability we have to help others, with our social action responsibility.
MM: In your own words, what does it mean to you to do a Mitzvah Project for your Bar Mitzvah?
J&R: It means giving back to the community that has given so much to us.
Making a donation to a great cause!
Participants kicking away at their kick-a-thon!
MM: If it involves a donation, what are you doing to spreading the word?
R&J: Every student at our karate school was encouraged to participate, by getting sponsors to pledge either a flat donation or a certain amount of money per kick. We made posters and flyers and pledge sheets. We spoke at every karate class to both the kids and the parents, telling them about the organization and how we could help. Each kid had to see how many kicks they could perform in 60 seconds.
MM: For how long can people donate to this charity?
J&R: We have already submitted the donations we collected to Kickstart, but people can donate to this wonderful organization at anytime through their website, www.kick-start.org.
MM: Anything else we need to know about your Mitzvah Project?
J&R: The Kickstart organization was so impressed by what we did that they are using our story as a motivational tool for their instructors and current students. Our story was also featured in their March newsletter and on their Website. We could not have done it without the help of all our teammates at our dojo, Top Gun Karate in Manhasset, NY, their families and our amazing teacher, Shihan Tony Morrison. Together, we kicked our way into changing people’s lives.
For more information about this wonderful organization you can contact:
3800 North Shepherd
Houston, TX 77018
We want to thank Justin and Ryan for sharing their terrific Mitzvah Project with Mitzvah Market. It was actually a Mitzvah Market reader who wrote in to tell us about this project, if you know of child who we can profile, just let us know at Sheri@MitzvahMarket.com.