‘Jawbone 4 Kids Haven’ entered as a charity bond at the Absa Cape Epic which took place from 13 to 20 March 2016. The two-man team managed to raise R162 500 to meet the annual budget to provide sport at Kids Haven while completing the 800km mountain bike challenge. Builders Warehouse has made a commitment to donate a further R30 000 to the cause.
The team consisting of Fourways and Lonehill residents Neil Vlaming and Nick Cooke chose to align themselves with the non-profit organisation and children’s shelter to create awareness and raise support for abandoned and abused street kids.
Susan Daly from Kids Haven comments, “We are incredibly grateful to ‘Jawbone 4 Kids Haven’ for the contribution that will ensure through sport we are able to impact children in a positive way. Not only does physical activity provide exercise and develop motor skills, it also teaches focus, discipline and social skills to the youth. Sport demonstrates the importance of team work and instils confidence, promotes self-esteem, self-discipline and helps to channel anger and boredom in a positive way.”
After successfully concluding the race and raising the funds for Kids Haven, Vlaming is encouraging other athletes and sports and fitness enthusiasts to do the same and compete for a cause that relies on fundraising for financial support. He comments, “I would encourage anyone who is embarking on a similar challenge to think about partnering with an organisation like Kids Haven. The reward makes the effort that much more fulfilling. It’s a remarkable and meaningful experience to participate in an initiative that one can share with friends, fans and followers while doing something good for those in need.”
While competing in the challenge the team gained recognition and support from peers, fellow contenders and sport spectators. In addition, announcers and commentators acknowledged the team pedalling for a purpose thereby creating further hype and talkability and ensuring ‘Jawbone 4 Kids Haven’ was top of mind throughout the event.
“When we refuelled at the various water points throughout each stage of the race there were crowds of onlookers and fans waiting to cheer us on and the spirit of the supporters really drove us to push harder,” says Vlaming.
What began as a simple challenge among friends to raise awareness for Kids Haven steadily evolved into a full-blown charity initiative; “Riding for a cause intensified our sense of purpose and we realised that collectively we could make a significant contribution and difference to these children’s lives. When we crossed the finished line we had an overwhelming sense of fulfilment and achievement because we knew we were flying the flag for a great cause,” he says.
Established non-governmental organisations such as Kids Haven can ensure that charitable donations go to effective, sustainable projects that implement positive change in minimally disruptive ways and make real change in the community.
There are 170 children living at Kids Haven and another 150 children living in the greater area who are directly supported through the community work to keep kids off the streets.
For more information, visit www.kidshaven.org.za