Friday, October 11, 2013

Kershaw's Challenge

I want to talk about a life story of a baseball player that shows how a person can change other people’s lives. It’s the story of Clayton Kershaw. He is the Los Angeles Dodger’s left-handed pitcher. Dodgers and he agreed on a two-year, $19 million contract, the second highest for a player in his first year of arbitration. He ranked fifth in the National League with 212 strikeouts last season and has fanned 497 batters in 483 big league innings. He struck out 276 batters in 220. Recently, the Los Angeles Dodgers advanced to the National League Championship Series with a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves in Game 4 of the Division Series. Clayton Kershaw did a great job and contributed to the team’s winning.

Prior to the 2011 season, Kershaw visited Zambia with his wife as part of a Christian mission. After he went to Zambia, he announced that he would build an orphanage in Lusaka, Zambia.  He named the orphanage as “Hope’s Home” in memory of 11-year-old Hope, an HIV child Kershaw met in Zambia. To do this, at March 30th 2011, he announced that he would donate $100 for each of his strikes out to Arise Africa. During the 2011 season, he donated $752,300 during the 2011 season and the ongoing donation amount of 2013 is around $180,149.

There are so many orphans who suffer AIDS inherited from their parents. According to 2011 UNICEF data, there were 170,000 children (aged 0-17) in Zambia suffering HIV.

After I heard the story of Kershaw, I took some time for introspection. I threw out the left over foods a lot and sometimes spent hundred dollars to buy new cellphone. I regretted. So, two days ago, instead of drinking couple cups of coffee, I decided to buy a T-shirts from the Kershaw’s Challenge Store. The money would be used to help orphans in Zambia. If I have a chance to be rich or famous in the future, I would like to spend money or talent to help other people and to do so, I will study diligently.

Lastly, I want to quote what Ellen Kershaw said during the interview with the Dodgers Magazine.

 “I always say the first time you’ve hugged a Zam-bian orphan it’ll change your life. It’s because that whole blanket of poverty becomes very personal, and you see the one life that you can impact and what a difference you can make… Going to Zambia really broadened both of our perspectives. I think we’re just trying to leave a legacy, leave a mark.”

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