A record breaking fundraising effort resulted in another award for Swift Current Christian Tae Kwon Do after the club raised $12,500 for International Justice Mission through their 2017 Breaking Boards, Breaking Chains fundraising initiative last April.
The local club was recognized on Tuesday as the top fundraising club in North America when David Pollendine, IJM’s Director of Development and Mobilization, stopped in Swift Current. The club was also the top fundraiser in 2016 and the runner-up in 2015.
“We don’t do it for the awards, but it’s really nice when you know you’re in a community that can compete financially against places like Toronto or Richmond, or wherever other groups are doing this. It is just, once again, a testimony to the people of Swift Current and the area. It is just amazing,” said Gary Voysey, Swift Current Christian Tae Kwon Do Chief Instructor.
Swift Current Christian Tae Kwon Do has now raised approximately $35,500 over four years for IJM, which currently has ongoing operations in Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, India, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Peru. The 2017 funds raised were to be used toward the rescue and recovery of child sexual assault victims in Bolivia.
“Yeah it’s really important,” said Pollendine of the club’s financial contribution to IJN. “Obviously the dollar here goes a long way in a lot of the countries where we’re working, so it can really have a massive impact on all the stages that we are involved in what we do. So rescuing people from slavery… The restoration as well, getting them back to full health, which involves, the whole process can take years, involves social workers, it involves aftercare professionals. All these things cost money. Then also bringing things to prosecution, bringing perpetrators to prosecution. Then also trying to work with the whole system to try and transform the justice system. It all costs money.”
“Did you know there is more people in slavery today than ever in the past, than there ever was during the transatlantic slave trade? I think there is a figure that just came out of 40 million people trapped in slavery. So it’s a massive problem, it’s a massive issue,” said Pollendine, who noted that India is one of the countries where it is most prevalent.
Voysey said the club remains enthusiastic about the fundraiser after four years of supporting IJN.
“Yeah they really are. Everybody, from the kids to the parents to my more mature students, they really get involved and buy into the idea of let’s make a difference, especially when it comes to human trafficking.”
Swift Current Christian Tae Kwon Do was established in 2012 in Swift Current and currently provides strength, confidence and guidance to over 110 members ages four to 62 each week through various classes. For more information, visit christiantkd.com.
The 2017 Breaking Boards, Breaking Chains was supported by Great Plains College, Trailview Builders, Tim Horton’s, Sunset Gourmet, and the Church of the Open Bible.