As mentioned, there is a community kitchen and garden at the club, but they make sure to always have snacks available for kids. And even though Fighting Chance is a nonprofit organization, membership is free for all kids ages 9-18, and older than 18 is strictly donation-based. As they say on their site, "We work hard to ensure that we will never have to turn anyone away."
The following information is from this KSTP report from July 18, 2016.
One of the coolest parts about Fighting Chance, especially in the seemingly widening social dichotomy of America these days, is the story of its leadership. It was founded in 2015 by former Minneapolis police officer Victor Mills, who said he met many of the kids who are now regulars at the gym when he used to patrol around North Minneapolis. He noticed they had nowhere to go as well as spare time, which can make for a costly combination. Fighting Chance gave them a place to belong, a place to kill time, and a place to grow not just physically but in community. Several other officers now regularly drop by to visit.
The club is currently run by several staff who serve as both boxing coaches as well as role models and life coaches for the kids. As Mills said, "Every kid that's coming in, they're looking for something. What we're doing is small. It's very teeny to the big picture but it's huge to some of the people who are coming here." And that's what it's all about.
One boxer, Deondre Riley, spoke more than favorably of Fighting Chance not two weeks after his brother was shot and killed in North Minneapolis this summer.
"There's no better place than a gym like this that's in the north side to get kids off the streets," he said. "It's going to take time but it can happen. It can happen ... If we start these kids young and get them in when they're young, maybe they won't fall into what these other guys do in the streets and stuff."
We are proud to back Fighting Chance this month. If you don't want to give through Valued, or if you want to donate directly, you can donate on their website below.
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