Alpha Martial Arts Brightens the Holidays for Kids in Care

By Chris Herrman, Treehouse Supporter

More than a decade ago I was first introduced to Treehouse by the parent of one of our new karate students. She told me about the financial support that Treehouse provides to local kids in foster care so that they can explore and participate in programs that interest them. Her son, Thomas, was interested in karate and trained with us for four years. It was the beginning of a great relationship. Since then we have had students sponsored by Treehouse in our classes on a regular basis.

Our partnership with Treehouse has grown over the years and we now host an annual donation drive. It is easy to support a local organization, doing good work, for good kids. I believe that the work that Treehouse is doing helps set kids in foster care up for lifelong success.

Alpha Martial Arts Drops off Donations for Treehouse

We decided to host a holiday drive for kids in foster care since many kids (and some adults) are often focused on what they want to receive from their family, friends or Santa during this time of year. Hosting a Treehouse “Joy of Giving” drive annually gives my students and I an opportunity to pause, think of how we can help others, and then take action. It is relatively easy for many of our families to pick up an extra gift or two for Treehouse during their shopping. Each gift adds up to the total delivered to Treehouse and helps make the holidays a little brighter for local kids in foster care.

We promote our holiday drive between Thanksgiving and mid-December and focus on collecting toys and clothing for kids. We are a family karate school, so most of our students can relate to that age group, and participate in picking out age-appropriate items. We promote the drive with a tree decorated with gift tags in our lobby, posters/signage, email, Facebook and “mat-chats.” Mat chats are a regular part of every karate class we teach and focus on a developing students’ character. We will talk about generosity and how with the Treehouse drive we have an opportunity to help other local kids.

Alpha Martial Arts Holiday Giving Tree

Once our drive is complete it is an awesome experience dropping off the items we have collected at the Wearhouse. My oldest son has been helping me deliver our donations to Treehouse for the last several years. We have both toured the Wearhouse and chatted with the staff and volunteers about the good work Treehouse does. We have had conversations about what it means to be a child in foster care and why we support Treehouse. It is amazing to see the impact our contribution makes and how it adds to the total efforts of all the holiday drives in our community. It gives our family an appreciation for what we have and it feels good to be making a positive contribution to local kids in foster care.

After 10+ years hosting drives for kids in foster care we remain committed to this cause. I believe one of the best investments we can make with our time and our resources is towards the children in our community.

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About the Author

Chris Herrman is the founder of Alpha Martial Arts. He loves the martial arts, especially the life-long learning opportunities that they present and the friendships that he has developed through training. Outside of the martial arts he enjoys snowboarding, hiking, reading, traveling and spending time with my family and friends. He is also learning to play the ukulele.

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