MINNEAPOLIS, October 3, 2017 – Last weekend, J Robinson, founder of JROB Intensive Camps and three-time NCAA National Champion wrestling coach, was honored by Minneapolis nonprofit humanitarian organization Smile Network International (SNI) as one of this year’s “Champion of Hope” award recipients. Since 2012, Robinson has placed a donation box at each one of the four JROB Intensive Camps and encouraged campers to donate. The Robinson family then matches their donations dollar-for-dollar, resulting in donations totaling $43,653 over the past five years.
At each of the four JROB Intensive Camps, Robinson and his staff focus on teaching life skills called “The J7”— Discipline, Dedication, Sacrifice, Hard Work, Responsibility, Accountability, and Service. Camp directors and counselors stress the importance of being a community leader through kindness, inclusiveness, and helping those in need, but just like anything else, service is a learned skill. For that reason, donation boxes are placed in the camp store and campers are urged to donate throughout camp.
“We chose the Smile Network as a fundraising operation because in dealing with our young campers, we know for them to buy in they have to see meaningful results that are realistic to achieve,” said Robinson. Part of what we teach at camp is service and the importance of doing something to help someone else. Knowing that they have changed someone’s life forever gives them a sense of being part of something bigger than their immediate goals in sports.”
SNI funds surgical missions to developing countries and provides necessary supplies needed to repair birth defects, with a focus on cleft lips, cleft palates and other conditions requiring surgical intervention. The surgeries are free of charge and are available to children who would otherwise go untreated. For $500 per surgery, a child who once lived with shame will be given the gift of a happier and healthier life. More information can be found at smilenetwork.org.