Top's mother called us tonight asking if he had gone home yet. It took me off guard at first, Top lives with his grandparents. He told me that his dad died when he was in kindergarten and that he rarely sees his mom. But then I realized who this woman was; she was a desperate mother who didn't know what was going on in her son's life.
It's so easy to judge the parents who have a abandoned their kids in the countryside, but until you walk a mile in their shoes you really can't even begin to comprehend what they are going though.
We got to talking and Top's Mom, who had been following the gym on Facebook, was worried he would be a burden on us, worried he would be a difficult or stubborn kid. She admitted that she didn't even really know her son anymore, and she wasn't proud of it. Her biggest fear was that Top would fall prey to the drugs, alcohol and gang violence that she had first hand experienced growing up in the underdeveloped and isolated village where we built the gym.
Top's grandfather is an alcoholic and his grandma has already given up. His mom, working in a factory, sends money home when she can, but it is almost always never enough. She was worried that she couldn't afford the gym, even though she knew her son was happy there.
So I told her what we're about. I told her that the gym was free, and we were here to help and to ease the burden for her. She couldn't believe it.
Something in the village to help kids and their families? It was like a dream, something definitely not around when she was in school. She was so happy for us, and for the support we were offering her kid.
I respect her so much. For taking the time to call us, to open up the way she did. She's trying to make ends meets, and in the process it's her kids who are suffering. She told us that she believes in us, that she is grateful and that she is proud her son is doing something...anything but drugs.
Boom and I again want to thank the support of our corporate sponsors: Booster Fight Gear, CNEXS Wear, and Smart Partners, in addition for the support of on monthly donors whom without which we wouldn't be here.