I’m Owen Mahoney, a sophomore at Wellesley High School (shown below in brown shirt). For the past two years I have traveled to Greensboro, Alabama to build a home for someone not fortunate enough to have one. The Alabama Buildvention is an incredible event in which martial artists and martial arts school leaders from around the country come together to celebrate the lessons we learn through martial arts, and to build a home for someone in need. The money we raise goes solely to Hero House Building (the organization that we partner with), so all the money goes straight to the materials we use to build. We sleep on a gym floor, we buy our own food, wake up early to work and go to sleep exhausted. Our constant mission is to leave every place better than when we found it. And we do it all in three days. During these life-changing three days we work our butts off, never complaining, never stopping, and always striving to do good.
If you know me, you might know that I love the martial arts. I spend up to 20 hours a week at my dojo training and working as a teacher so that I might have my own school someday. It is my passion in life. It is who I am. It’s where I have learned that stepping onto the mat means giving it everything you have. But it’s also where I’ve learned that the principles you learn in martial arts should be taken out into the world in the form of compassion and helping others.
Each year in Alabama has been a fantastic, mind blowing event. The community of good people that surrounds me, people who have traveled from across the country and globe to help someone out, these are the people who come together to build. Every year I am surprised by how lucky I am, not only to be here with these amazing people, but to be a part of such a great thing at such a young age.
Hero will keep going, but this is the last year that I personally am going. So I’ve set my goal high. But I believe that the community around me can blow this out of the water. We are strong together and though I will be the one down there working on the house, you are the ones who can really make it possible. So now I am calling to you. My community. You can helped me support these wonderful people so now I call on you, to come together, give what you can, let’s DO this!