Edited: 8/2/14 9:26 PM
Member Since: 5/15/09
Member Since: 5/15/09
Some time ago I spent 6 months living in Brazil and training at Checkmat in Santos (meow Cavaca Fight Trainer [Zenith]/The House [Checkmat] depending on where everyone ended up) and on a few occasions trained with or helped out running a social project for kids and teens to train BJJ. I had a really good time and was really impressed with how dedicated those involved with the program are.<br /><br />Upon returning home, I collected a large batch of gear to donate to various social programs in Santos, based on the trainers I worked with. The support I got from those who donated was overwhelming. Initially, the government was supposed to cover the cost of shipping but that hit a hiccup when Checkmat split and I lost some contacts/other things came up down there. I'm tired of waiting and this stuff has been boxed up and waiting in my living room to be shipped for too long.
I have children's kimonos, adult kimonos, women's gear, no gi gear, boxing gear, MMA gear... You name it. I intend for everything to go to its appropriate place. Jiu jitsu stuff for the social projects and boxing/muay thai/mma stuff to go to Alex Cobra's Muay Thai academy where I trust he will find students in need.
The first box I took to the post office costs $160 to ship. The second is another $60 plus I have more. Out of principle I do no ask or take money for anything. My first Pan Ams trip, I raised my entry fee and plane fair by selling cookies I baked and I slept in the Acai tent after they left for the night (this was during the old Pan Ams where the vendors tent were outside of the building) and in the car of someone I just met that day because I didn't have enough money for a hotel and didn't want to beg strangers.
I'm going to print some shirts to sell, which are set for pre order (not to offset cost or generate 'hype' - only so I know what sizes to print and don't end up with too many and waste the money I'm trying to raise) for a short period, then they'll be printed and shipped. Fear not, I am organized, it'll happen exactly on the timeline I post, and I live 10 minutes away from my printer who turns my shirts around in a couple of days. I've been working with him since I was 15 or 16 and playing in all sorts of bands. This will NOT follow the timeline of pre ordering gis because it is SOLELY for inventory purposes. If I overshoot and end up with more money than shipping costs I'll either send that to Brazil or use it towards sending more stuff after repeating the collection process. If I undershoot, I'll just pay the difference out of pocket, and I'll be happy I offset it a bit.
Furthermore, I'm aware that some dipshits have taken advantage of charity in jiu jitsu in the past, giving it a bad name and making others suspicious. This is low key. I'm giving stuff I collected to poor Brazilian kids, that's all. I'm not profiting in any way, shape or form. I'll happily answer any questions, or send whatever is available, whether it be correspondence or photos (not sure what I'll have to offer) to show they got there. A lot of people on this board or Sherdog or wherever know who I am, and have met, trained with or competed against me, and my user name and avatar on most boards make it pretty clear who I am and where I can be found for accountability purposes.
My friend Marcao runs the social project in Santos but I will be sending this stuff to my good friend/former roommate Michelle Nicoloni to give to him and help distribute it, due to the fact that I have a close relationship with her, and she is fluent in English whereas Marcao... Not so much. I trust Michelle a great deal so I know once this is out of my hands the gear will go where it needs to be.
Price includes shipping for those in the US of A. The price will be a little higher than dirt cheap shirts because I'll be printing on American Apparel triblend shirts so people will actually want to wear it.
I'm not real active posting on the internet anymore, but I wanted this post to be made made just to get started, state my intention and give some background info before I move forward. Please post or email with any questions. Kennysavercool@gmail.com
1. Can I just donate money?
NO. I'll send it back to you if you Paypal me money for nothing.
Out of principle, I don't take free stuff even for a good cause. I hate kickstarter, gofundme and all of those kind of sites. plus begging for money makes me look desperate and sketchy. I don't want to have to PROVE to everyone that I am being honest, I just wanna finish this project. If money is burning a hole in your pocket, order 10 shirts and give them out to your friends or something.
2. How do we know you aren't just keeping the money you make from the shirts?
Because the boxes will have gone from my house, past the equator and onto a disadvantaged youth's doorstep, and through it all I'm still broke. WARNING: asking me this question will not receive a polite reply.
3. Why Santos, and why this particular social project?
I lived there. I love it there. My friends are there. I worked with these kids and loved them as well as the experience. I believe in this program and I believe in the positive benefits that jiu jitsu can inflict on the youth because I experienced them myself. I used to be bad off and make a lot of trouble for myself and others but jiu jitsu taught me every cliche that the protagonist learns in a martial arts movie.
4. Why don't you don't charity for American kids???
Who says I don't? There's plenty of "need" to go around. I'm a public school teacher and this is a passion project of mine. If you feel that I need to justify my position in this manner, go dig a hole and sit in it.
5. This is so great, you're so great, praise be to the almighty bla bla bla...
I appreciate well wishes and all but I'm doing this because it's something I wanna do. PLEASE if you wish to share this on Facebook, twitter, instagram, some other type of social media that I do not know about or with friends and teammates DO, IT but leave me out of it. I don't like attention or my name being attached to things. All they need is the back story and a URL.
6. How many shirts do you need to sell/ I have questions about taxes
I have multiple college degrees. I'm bright by a reasonable standard. Except in math. I'm mathematically illiterate. I don't know how many I need to sell, hence why I have a plan if I over or undershoot my goal. I don't know anything about taxes or write offs or what those things even are. I pay my neighbor to do my taxes, I don't like percentage signs or fractions, and there is no way I am going to sit down and try to divide the shipping cost by the net profit times the flux capacitor a2+b2=c2 to and infinity and beyond .