Main fundraiser photo

Open Hand Startup Funds

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We need you to help us reach more kids like Claire.

She's the girl in the back of this photo. To prepare for her black belt testing, she's teaching an important karate kata, or series of movements. In class, she's called the little lion because she is one of the fiercest. Through martial arts, she learns to use her voice, to persevere, what real strength feels like, to respect and be respected. In class, if you work hard, you're welcome. And we want to bring this opportunity to everyone who wants it in our community. 

Sensei Adam Frey taught karate for four years through the City of Cedar Rapids and is a third-degree blackbelt. Frey sensei and a group of dedicated karateka, parents of students, and community members created Open Hand, a community-based nonprofit organization that uses the principles and practices of  martial arts to improve the lives of individuals and the community at large so we can offer the benefits of martial arts--and its principles, like dedication, self-awareness, compassion in and out of the dojo--to more people than we can reach in private classes.  And we're just getting started.

We've been planning, strategizing, and meeting with larger established groups and organizations to do things right from day one. We won't launch programs until we have a solid plan to succeed, but an affordable after-school karate program is in the works, as well as life protection seminars, fitness and conflict-avoidance workshops, and more. Expect to see Open Hand members doing projects in the community wherever a hand is needed. 

We met our first goal of $950 thanks to the generosity of people like you. After months of planning and hard work, we're ready to file our paperwork and have the funds to do it! On July 1st, Open Hand became the official nonprofit steward of WaSenShi Kan Dojo (Place of the Peaceful Warrior), Adam Frey's karate school. The after school program is lined up for fall, we're increasing classes, scheduled seminars, and another instructor (Sensei Erika Munne) is on board. Now we make it happen.

We operate out of the local community center while we are growing and are thankful for our partnership with the city! We are sometimes crowded, though, and the city-supplied equipment is in rough shape. We need to buy more gear for kids to practice on (focus mits and shield bags for punching and kicking) and mats that we can store after class and bring with us when we eventually get our own building.  Good equipment means more kids get a turn honing their skills and building strength and confidence.

We invite you to come to a karate class to see your contributions in action! Visit our website, send us a message, and we'll make sure you feel welcome when you stop by.

It's time to make the change we want to see. People like you--generous, engaged, and ready to help--make real good and real change possible.

Help us meet our next goal of $3500 by January 1!

Fundraising team: Open Hand Board (4)

Leslie Caton
Cedar Rapids, IA
Adam Frey
Adam Frey
Team member
Rachel Currie Anderson
Team member
Shannon Cornelius
Team member

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