In addition to introducing the Draper, Utah community to the sport of fitness, CrossFit O.U.R. launched in 2015 in collaboration with its partner, the nonprofit Our Underground Railroad.
The gym served as a meeting place and a resource for logistical planning in addition to serving as a means of income generation for O.U.R.
Eight years later, CrossFit O.U.R. is still going strong, with a flourishing community, annual major events, and a mission to combat child abuse and human trafficking.
A little background Tim Ballard, the founder of O.U.R., served as a former Homeland Security special agent for over ten years. He was assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, where he worked as an undercover agent for the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Programme.
He saw firsthand the atrocities of sex trafficking, child enslavement, and child exploitation while working for the U.S. government. He also developed a thorough awareness of the difficulties and obstructions that governmental organizations have while attempting to rescue victims, look into cases, and bring offenders to justice.
To carry on his life's work of saving children differently, Ballard quit his secure job with the government in 2013 and founded a non-profit organization called Our Underground Railroad.
With O.U.R., Ballard was no longer constrained by territorial boundaries and was able to establish connections with law enforcement organizations in 48 states and numerous other nations. He was able to organize "after-care" assistance: assisting kids in finding their families again, alternative housing, and community support. Additionally, he created sensitivity training that assisted organizations in improving interactions and collaboration with abuse victims.
By 2015, Ballard had been experimenting with CrossFit and had concluded that it was not only the best method to keep in shape but also the best way to build a community and make money. He started the CrossFit gym to address these demands and as a strategy to generate income for O.U.R. since he needed space for meetings and conducting day-to-day operations.
In addition to giving all proceeds to O.U.R., CrossFit O.U.R. organizes three major fundraising events per year.
Their forthcoming event, "Get Fit, Save Kids," is special because anyone may take part from any gym, anywhere in the world. Similar to the Open, each participant will execute a predetermined workout on the same day and in their location. The $15 event will take place from July 29 to August 4th. Through Competition Corner, interested parties can register online.
CrossFit O.U.R. has expanded significantly over the years, and O.U.R. has had a tremendously positive impact on countless victims and families in addition to being able to save thousands of lives. As they continue to rescue and assist victims all across the world, their plight worsens.
Ourrescue.org: "When we decided to take up this fight in 2013, we had no idea the level of support we would get from others who were equally devoted to fighting child sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. To that end, we won't stop fighting and will keep going to the darkest depths until this crime is eradicated. We appreciate you continuing to be the light we carry into the night.”
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