Single mom Sherri-Lee Woycik would do anything for her kids.
Now, 15-year-old Hannah and 11-year-old Ben are returning the favour by helping their mom, while simultaneously reaching for a higher standard in their taekwondo aspirations.
The Woycik siblings have created a GoFundMe page (click here to visit the page) to pay for their black belt testing at Chang’s Taekwondo Martial Arts in Cloverdale, to ease some of the financial burden on their mom.
“It was Ben’s idea,” Hannah said. “We were seeing how other people made GoFundMe pages for all types of things and we wanted to help our mom out, give her a little break seeing how expensive the tests are. It’s a lot of money for the tests and it’s nice to help her out.”
Hannah added, “I know we’re really grateful. It’s been four years that we’ve been doing it and we felt like it was an important thing to thank her, for all she’s done for us.”
“We didn’t go in expecting to reach our goal,” Ben said. “We wanted to try and raise something that would help and we could put towards it [the testing].”
Hannah said she and Ben made a commitment to do taekwondo together, and progress at the same pace.
“So we did classes and testing together and made a promise that if one of us wanted to test, we’d do it together,” she said.
Sherri-Lee said the GoFundMe efforts is “a great exercise in seeing and appreciating the work of others and in taking responsibility in working towards their dreams.”
“When they first talked to me about it, I was a little hesitant because I felt we shouldn’t be asking other people pay for things,” the proud mom shared. “Then I thought about and decided, ‘let’s see what happens. Let’s encourage them to share their love of this [tae kwon do] with other people. You never know, we’ll see what happens. I’m really proud of them. This means so much to them.”
Hannah and Ben discovered taekwondo in 2013 and at the time had no idea how much it would change and impact their lives.
They started with white belts and together worked hard, went to classes, took their tests and worked their way through the levels of belts.
“We hadn’t realized there would be 12 belts to go through and what a journey it would be, but we put in the work it required to get to where we are today,” they wrote on the GoFundMe page. “We also hadn’t realized how expensive it would be. Our mum has worked hard these past three years to make sure money didn’t stop us from achieving our goals.”
Hannah and Ben were also shocked to learn how expensive the test will cost so they decided to help their mom pay for it as a way to thank her for all she’s done for them.
Anyone who donates $50 or more will receive a digital photo of Hannah and Ben, once they receive their black belts.
Hannah said tae kwon do is much more than just self defence: “It feels like a group activity and even though you are there to better your own life, you do it as a team. You feel like a part of a family. We’re together, we’re all friends, and it’s a great atmosphere.”
Once the siblings take their test, they’ll find out if they pass in June or July, and the black belt ceremony is in February 2017.