Early Thanksgiving with the Settlement Home

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Early Thanksgiving with the Settlement Home

When CrossFit Renew started, our goal was to be more than just a room full of people that lifted heavy things and sweat a lot. As fun as that is, there’s a lot more to life than the workouts we do. We wanted to be a community of people that pushed each other inside of the gym to be better humans outside the gym. In January 2017, we launched a CrossFit program in partnership with a foster home down the road called The Settlement Home. This nonprofit houses approximately 60 girls — from late elementary school to high school — who have come from abusive or neglectful backgrounds. While living at the Settlement Home, the girls have access to programs and resources they’ve never had before — so they may heal and grow and move onward. I wanted to help with that process using a sport that I love. And thus, this program was formed. The goals of the Settlement Home/CrossFit Renew program are to:
  1. Give them a productive outlet to release energy and frustration.
  2. Allow them to participate in a sport unlike most things available to them.
  3. Show them that hard work is valuable and will help them accomplish things they never thought they would be able to do, as well as apply that hard work to their lives outside the box.
  4. Care for them in a way that is contradictory from what their past tells them; in a way that shows them that they are valuable, talented, strong, and worth caring about.
Most of you probably don’t know about this program because I haven’t advertised it a lot. I wanted to make sure it was stable enough to bring other people (relationships) into it so the girls didn’t form bonds and have them broken again if things didn’t work out. My long-term goal with this program is to have it be a major part of the Renew pulse — not just something that happens at the gym twice a week (though I am grateful for that time). I would love for our members (that’s you!) to get involved in whatever capacity you can. Ideally, I would love for some of you to mentor these girls and be that healthy adult relationship in their lives. In an effort to get that rolling, I’d like to invite you to volunteer at a Thanksgiving celebration on their campus. Here are the details: When: Tuesday, November 14th Shift 1: 3:00-5:00 pm – Set up table/decorations and transport food Shift 2: 6:00-8:00 pm – Help serve on buffet line/breakdown tables and clean up decorations after the event **You can pick one shift, or both. Whatever you are able to do. Where: At the Settlement Home campus. Right behind the Target on Research Blvd. Please let me know as soon as you can. They are starting to line up volunteers and they need a head count. I think this could be a really great first step towards further integrating these girls into the gym, as well as our culture/community. I love all of you, I love these girls, and I think they could learn so much from y’all. If you have any interest at all, please email me at [email protected]. I’m sure this email probably brought up more questions than answers, and I would love to clear things up for you. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know these girls over the past 10 months now, and they truly are incredible. They’re hard workers and they catch on really fast. Sometimes they’re in terrible moods and have a lot of feelings, but what teenager doesn’t? Their stories are full of unfathomable suffering and rejection, but they are so strong, physically and mentally, and I think I have learned just as much from them as they have from me. Let me know if you have any interest in this volunteer opportunity or being involved in any other way. I would be honored to help you get connected. Thanks, McKenzie

Who wrote this post...

Mckenzie Souther

Mckenzie Souther

McKenzie is a North Carolina transplant (go Heels) who’s been coaching and attending Renew since 2016. Her favorite benchmark workout is Isabel, ‘cause quick power snatches are her jam. But as a former gymnast, she’ll also settle for any workout that requires her to be upside down. When she’s not coaching or working out, she just wants to be where her friends are -- preferably somewhere on the greenbelt with lots and lots of dogs!

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