“Kershaw’s Challenge” created to help build orphanage in Zambia
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Opening Day starter, Clayton Kershaw, announced today that he and his wife, Ellen, will donate $100 for each of his strikeouts during the 2011 season to Arise Africa, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping end poverty on the continent through health care, education, business and discipleship.
The Dodgers Dream Foundation will also make a financial commitment to Arise Africa on behalf of Kershaw. As part of “Kershaw’s Challenge,” the 23-year-old left-hander is encouraging fans to join the cause by visiting www.kershawschallenge.com.
A native of Dallas, TX, Kershaw took his first trip to Zambia during the offseason, where he and Ellen helped to build a school and spent time with numerous orphans. Their goal is to raise $70,000 to start an orphanage in Lusaka, Zambia that will be called Hope’s Home, named for an 11-year-old orphan who is HIV positive and whom Clayton and Ellen befriended on their recent trip.
“It’s one thing traveling around the United States playing in different cities, even going to different parts of the world,” Kershaw told Dodgers Magazine in an April cover story. “But when you go to a third-world country and see how other cultures live, it’s very different. You think it’s something that happened way back in the day, but plenty of people are living in houses that would be considered shacks here without running water or electricity. It makes you thankful for what you have.”
Kershaw ranked fifth in the National League with 212 strikeouts last season and has fanned 497 batters in 483 big league innings. He struck out 276 batters in 220.1 minor league innings from 2006-08.
The trip to Zambia was Ellen Kershaw’s fifth.
“I always say the first time you’ve hugged a Zambian orphan it’ll change your life,” she told Dodgers Magazine. “It’s because that whole blanket of poverty becomes very personal, and you see the one life that you can impact and what a difference you can make… Going to Zambia really broadened both of our perspectives. I think we’re just trying to leave a legacy, leave a mark.”