what is gFg and how did all this get started?
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My name is Ryan Prouty. I'm a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) training out of the Peoria Athletic Club. My family and I supply as many gifts as possible to the kids of the Children's Hospital of Illinois (CHOI) every December for their annual Toy Drop Off Day. What started off as me offering private lessons in BJJ has turned into something more special.
Back in May of 2013 my little girl, Catalina, was born in Peoria with several issues. One of which required a major surgery at 4 days old. We spent her first month at the Children's Hospital of Illinois being taken care of by the most amazing staff I've ever been around. The nurses, doctors, surgeons, care takers - everyone - were so good to us and got my little girl fixed up and going with her life. We had several return trips for those first few years, and I swore that once Cat was out and living life to the fullest, I'd do something, anything, to give back. Now WHAT I was going to do was my question...
Fast forward to 2016... OSF St Francis Hospital (the CHOI is a part of this great hospital) announced they were doing a program called the 12 Days of Giving for the holiday. One of those days is Toy Drop Off Day. This is the first Saturday of December and it’s when people can bring in new toys for all the kids that are stuck in the hospital for the holidays. I knew that would be a great opportunity to do what I've been wanting to do.
What I did was I offered private lessons in jiujitsu to groups of four people at my jiujitsu gym (the Peoria Athletic Club) for $100. I thought if I made $200-300 that would be amazing! Well once my family and friends heard about what I was doing they asked if they could just donate.... YES!!!! I was shocked at the support I received! I ended up bringing in around $2500 that first year and it grew steadily for a couple years. Then I started getting the hang of this charity stuff. I called in favors, made promises, traveled (ruined a truck in the process), did seminars at other schools, etc. Since 2016 Grappling for Gifts has raised over $40,000. Every penny goes to buying toys, games, supplies, clothes, essentials, etc. for the kids of the CHOI.
This was instantly a passion for me and my family. This passion has been passed on to my teammates, friends and strangers. You see, I can't do this without them or without you! I'm very fortunate to have learned a skill set that allows me to raise money for a good cause and something I believe in. A byproduct of learning that skill is that I have been surrounded by good, positive people for the last 20-something years.
Whether you want to book a private lesson or seminar, or just give a few bucks to a good cause, please consider Grappling for Gifts. Every gift is a smile!
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO MADE 2021 OUR BEST YEAR YET!
sEE YOU IN 2022!
We are very happy to announce that GFG is now officially a 501c(3) public charity!
Disclaimer: We are NOT affiliated with the Children's Hospital of Illinois or OSF St. Francis Hospital in any way. We are just supporters of them and want to help the kids by supplying as many gifts as we can every December!
There are multiple ways to donate! Don't forget - every $20 donated gets you a raffle ticket for a chance to win some awesome prizes!
Private lesson in BJJ?
Seminar for your school?
Become a GFG affiliate school?
Want to just donate?
To make sure the kids of the Children's Hospital of Illinois have gifts... not just for the holidays, but year round!