#showcasetheHEART #teamnosleepPosted by Mike Calimbas on Friday, September 29, 2017
Compared to other sports, the jiu-jitsu world is relatively small. But we can make a huge impact when we come together, and the proof is found in the $50,000 that was raised through the “Submit Harvey” fundraiser. The effort, which was orchestrated by Fight to Win Pro owner Seth Daniels and photographer Mike Calimbas (both of whom hail from the Houston area), has taken place over the span of a few weeks.
It started when Daniels decided to donate profits from the Houston and San Antonio F2W Pro shows, plus the Texas Open, to victims of the storm. He also opened up a donation page for those who couldn’t attend the shows, but wanted to contribute to the cause. In just nine days, the donation page alone raised over $10,000, with proceeds from the events bringing in thousands more.
“We really want to thank the entire jiu-jitsu community that donated their time, money, and resources to make this fundraiser successful,” said Daniels. “The dozen or so families we are helping are SO grateful, and this money goes a long way as they rebuild their homes and their lives. Mike Calimbas did an amazing job of not only losing weight and getting sexy, but putting the auction together.”
Calimbas decided to help raise money through a charity auction that started out small, then quickly grew to offer goods and services like private lessons from hundreds of black belt instructors that included Marcelo Garcia, Garry Tonon and Gordon Ryan, and Xande Ribeiro. When the auction concluded this afternoon, over $30,000 had been raised, with all of it going towards those who need to rebuild their lives after the storm.
For Calimbas, the storm both literally and figuratively hit very close to home, which made this cause and its result that much more important to him.
“It’s almost surreal how this turned out. I remember being stuck in Las Vegas through the storm feeling so helpless while my friends and family were going through this. Our local community pulled together so much. Friends of mine, people close to me or I know through MMA/BJJ, giving so much help and selflessly providing it. I couldn’t do anything. And when I got back, I was so fortunate. My car was in one of the only lots not flooded. My parents’ house was in a mandatory evacuation zone and they made it out okay. And when I went to pick my son from his mom’s, they missed the flooding by a matter of a street. My own house was less than five minutes from devastation. So I had to find some way to contribute. I had [my son] Nicky, so I couldn’t bring him with me to rip out sheetrock or rummage through floodwaters.
I had to find some other way to help, and it turned into this. We are able to raise $37,000 through the auction, $15,000 through Fight to Win, and even more through additional cash donations. All this money to go back into the hands of folk who need it for rebuilding. The whole community should be proud, and I’m so proud to be part of it with you all. We’ve proven through this that good people working together can accomplish great things.”
The funds will be distributed individually and directly according to the recipients’ needs. Anyone in the jiu-jitsu community who needs financial assistance due to the storm should contact Daniels or Calimbas as soon as possible so that they can make sure the money goes where it’s needed.