Support Gainesville State Athletics

Update: We have had an incredibly generous offer from a member of our community - they will donate $1,000 if we hit $5,000. Can you help us do it?

I know one thing no one can help us do. Describe the gratitude and appreciation we feel towards everyone who has helped us push our goal up over and over again.

What started as an attempt to give these kids $300 worth of new shoes (for their saftey, if nothing else) has become something so much more. With what all of you have helped us raise, the school should be able to purchase all sorts of equipment, far beyond anything we thought feasible.

Playing in and with the same quality gear as the boys on the other teams will remind everyone - not just the players - that these kids are still part of the local community. They are our boys, and they aren't any different than the kids on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Next season can't come soon enough!

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From all of us at r/ExCons .

As a survivor of sexual and physical abuse from those I was supposed to be able to trust, I ended up as a young kid who did all of the juvenile facilities in Virginia. I hit the big time at 18. I received a sentence for 50 years in prison, as a result of my property crimes to facilitate a drug addiction. I ended up serving 6 as a result of a changed attitude and outlook on life. I have been home 18 years, and while it hasn't been easy, I am grateful I was able to change my mindset. We need to make sure other juveniles in the system get an opportunity to get their minds right. We need to end the cycle of recidivism.

How do we do that?

There is no magic bullet, but we have an idea about where we can start.

Let's use our experiences from our transgressions of our youth (whether criminal or not) to help kids at risk of falling off the deep end.

Recently, an article was posted on our community subreddit that made us aware of Gainesville State School:

http://espn.go.com/espn/rickreilly/news/story?id=3789373

Though the article is a few years old, it was new to us and it impacted all of us.

Who do we know?

I have personally contacted the administration and coach of this facility and after a long talk, feel we understand their needs.

What will we do?

All the funds gathered will be given to the athletics department staff at Gainesville State and they will purchase the exact items they need. Specifically, we will give Coach Henry L. Thomas whatever funds we gather in order to purchase turf shoes for the boys on the team.

Why is there a lack of funding?

Because it doesn't fit into the budget of the taxpayers. We can help change that. I know as ex-cons, it is tough financially. We often can't get good jobs or find consistent work. But whatever we can do to help these kids is a start towards a better life for everyone.

What will happen if we help?

They will grow up to be the types of people that can change everything for the rest of us that are too old or too focused on surviving to make the kind of institutional change we need. It is a small gesture, but it is the first step in trying to transform lives.

Thank you.

If you can support this cause, we would appreciate it. We know everyone's financial situation is different. I am currently in contact with potential corporate sponsors that I hope will match or exceed what we can raise for these kids. At the very least, please share this fundraiser with your network. The closer we get to our goals, the better chance we have at turning these kids lives around.

Thanks so much for reading this.

Chris /aka/ novaguy28

Last but not least, a big thank you to everyone from Kort and Omid as well.
  • Sean Cook 
    • $300 
    • 72 mos
  • Marlies Madsen 
    • $50 
    • 72 mos
  • Jamie Bullins 
    • $25 
    • 72 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 72 mos
  • Keri H 
    • $25 
    • 72 mos
See all

Organizer

Omid Ghaffari-Tabrizi 
Organizer
Delray Beach, FL