We exist to encourage people to use whatever God-given passion, purpose or talent they have been given to make a difference and give back to others in need.
Kershaw’s Challenge is a Christ-centered, others-focused organization. The essence of Kershaw’s Challenge is that the better you do, the more you give, making whatever you do about something more. We exist to encourage people to use whatever God-given passion, purpose or talent they have been given to make a difference and give back to others in need. Our Challenge is to use a sphere of influence to positively impact communities in need and to expand God’s Kingdom. We believe in the transformation of at-risk children and communities through the benevolence and impact of others.
Kershaw’s Challenge began with a little girl named Hope, a very evident need in her life, and the realization of a platform to do great things.
Hope is now 13 years old. She was born in Lusaka, Zambia, and has battled the HIV epidemic her entire life. Ellen Kershaw met her when Hope was 9 years old. At the time, Hope was a vulnerable orphan, sick and malnourished, and had already learned to survive on her own for years. She was timid and distant from a lifetime of building up walls towards anyone who might hurt her.
Ellen & Hope instantly connected. By the end of Ellen’s time in Zambia, they were inseparable. Ellen saw her walls slowly come down, and a vulnerable and scared child hiding behind her clouded, brown eyes. Ellen & Clayton committed that summer in 2010 to make life better for this child. They sponsored her so that she would have school fees paid for, a nutritional meal provided daily, and a discipleship program that would mentor her in her walk with Christ.
In December of 2010, only a few months after Ellen met Hope, Clayton traveled to Zambia for the first time to experience Ellen’s passion for these children. Together, Ellen and Clayton walked through the compounds of Lusaka, looking for familiar faces, and praying they would be able to find Hope. After years of seeing pictures and hearing stories from Ellen’s trip, Clayton was in disbelief seeing the depth of poverty that these people live in. They turned the corner, and heard a squeal. All the sudden, a flying little girl leaped into the arms of Ellen—they were finally reunited. Hope met Clayton and it was if they had known each other for a lifetime. They spent the afternoon with Hope, hearing about her past few months. No doubt, Hope looked healthier. She had been fed; therefore, her HIV medication was starting to work.
Hope still needed a safe place to call home. She was living with her aunt who was already feeding and caring for many other children in a tiny, dirt-floor shack. Hope was neglected and just trying to survive. Clayton & Ellen realized that until she had a safe place to call home, and parents who would care for her, Hope would never be able to have the upbringing she deserved. This is how Kershaw’s Challenge began.
Hope has a story similar to millions of children in Africa. She is a strong, smart, and funny girl who deserves to be loved, cared for, and empowered. Coming home, Clayton & Ellen had the vision of building a home for Hope and children just like her. Clayton came up with the idea of “Striking Out to Serve.” He knows his ability to throw a baseball is God-given, and the platform he has been blessed with needs to be used to glorify the Lord. Kershaw’s Challenge began in 2011.
The “Challenge” is to use whatever you have been blessed with—talent, passion, or purpose—to give back to others. In 2012, Kershaw’s Challenge expanded to serve children’s charities in Los Angeles and Dallas. The Kershaws are adamant about serving hands-on throughout the year, and being invested in the non-profits we partner with.
In December of 2012, the first 8 kids, including Hope, moved into Arise Home. For the first time, they have beds to sleep in, a loving family of brothers and sisters, nurturing house mothers who tuck them in at night, full bellies everyday, and a private school education.
Kershaw’s Challenge is committed to transforming the lives of children, in America and Africa, through Jesus Christ. Our goal is to partner with organizations that are committed to this as well, and work alongside them on specific projects to make life better for kids.