The True Definition of Giving Back
At Steve’s Club National Program, miracles happen every day all around the country. Each and every Local Club is working towards changing lives through fitness, nutrition, and mentorship in the CrossFit classes they offer for free to at-risk youth in their communities.
Just this year, Lisa Agnew, a member of CrossFit King of Prussia, home to Steve’s Club KOP, in Bridgeport, PA (just 20 miles from Steve’s Club HQ), along with her husband Chris, officially became “mom” and “dad” to three young children who faced seemingly insurmountable odds and a long future in the foster system.
Steve’s Club KOP, founded in 2011, was the third local club added to our national program that now consists of 30 clubs across the country. Every year KOP gives scholarships to several at-risk kids to attend their CrossFit Kids and Teens classes.
In April of 2013, two twin boys, Jayden and Davin, were left alone in their mother’s apartment when it caught fire. According to the firefighters on the scene, had they arrived just ten minutes later, the boys would not have made it out alive. Both suffered from severe smoke inhalation and were hospitalized.
At the time, the Agnews were still in the process of getting their foster parenting license when they heard the story on the news.
“I remember thinking how wonderful it would be if we could foster them. It happened right around the corner from our house. Fast forward three months later and we get a call asking if we could take two boys and they were the very same ones from the fire,” said Agnew. “I don’t want to call it divine intervention, but it was meant to be.”
Just two and a half years old at the time, Jayden and Davin fit in to their home from the start. Lisa, an active member of CrossFit King of Prussia since 2009, began taking the boys to CrossFit Kids and Steve’s Club classes as a way to get them to interact with children their own age, burn off energy, and give them focus.
“The support from Aimee [Lyons], the head coach and owner of CrossFit KOP, and the rest of the community has been overwhelming. They’re going to grow up in that place and have an entire gym full of mentors to look up to and learn from,” she said.
In fact, if it weren’t for Aimee and the other CrossFit Kids moms, Lisa and Chris would have been utterly overwhelmed when four months after they took in Jayden and Davin, they found out that the boys’ mother was pregnant with a baby girl. Once again, they received a call from Child’s Protective Services who were asking if they would consider fostering a third child.
“We couldn’t not take her. But her arrival was in two weeks and we barely had anything set up. Then the moms showed up with car loads full of baby items and suddenly, we were all set and ready to bring a newborn into our lives again,” said Agnew.
With two kids of their own already in high school, Chris and Lisa never thought they would be raising young children again. But as of July 7th, 2015, they are officially the adoptive parents of Jayden, Davin, and baby Naomi. It has been a long three years for their family - full of court dates and stressful supervised parental visits – but they are now the parents of three children with a new lease on life and a huge extended CrossFit family who loves them.
“The judge said she had never seen so many people show up for an adoption. We must have had 60 people in the courthouse that day excited to celebrate with us,” Agnew said.
Now, with the boy’s soccer season wrapping up, they are excited to get back to CrossFit. Jayden loves box jumps, and is quick and agile. Davin, the bigger of the twins, is the powerhouse and Lisa is excited to see him grow into a strong young man. Over the past two years at CrossFit King of Prussia, the boys have gone from shy, reserved members of the group to active, enthusiastic participants thanks to the Steve’s Club Coaches at KOP. They even show kids at their school how to do burpees and air squats.
Right now, Naomi just loves watching her brothers play and workout during the Kids classes but her mom looks forward to her participating in the future.
“She’s going to be an athlete. She loves to run, jump, and is already fast. I can’t wait to see where she and her brothers are going to be several years from now. All three have a shine to them – they’re going to do something with their lives and they are going to excel no matter what,” said Agnew.