A STATEMENT FROM F3 SOUTH CAROLINA:
The mission of F3 (Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith) is “to plant, grow, and serve small workout groups for the invigoration of male community leadership.” Over the past 7 days, we have been honored to serve the communities hit hard by the flood waters — our communities. We have seen our children’s schools turned into shelters, our churches turned into distribution centers, and the homes of our friends and neighbors damaged or destroyed. Many of our own membership can be included in that, as well. It’s devastating because this is our city. This is our home.
All of our workouts begin with the statement “we are not professionals,” intended to convey a spirit that our “leadership” is no more qualified to lead than any other member of our group. We encourage individual initiative. We want men to see needs in the communities around them and to themselves actively seek solutions to those problems. It’s the basis of our third F: a belief in something bigger than ourselves that often manifests itself in outreach and service.
As much as we would like to, we simply cannot continue flood relief at the pace we have kept for the past week. Today, over 300 F3 men from three states descended on Columbia, Irmo, and Lexington to help in any way they could. We have done serious work in an estimated 170 homes. We have ferried and directed relief donations to those in need in the far reaches of these counties. After church tomorrow afternoon and into next week with a limited capacity, we will be back in the trenches to do what we can, but the fact of the matter is that after a week, the situations are becoming more dangerous from a public health standpoint. Deteriorating conditions require professionals, which most of our volunteers are not. Additionally, many of our men have taken vacation days from their jobs to serve their cities. We need to go back to the work of earning a living and reconnecting with our families.
We are not abandoning you. If you have a specific need, we will try very hard to help or find someone who can. You can continue to use this notification form to alert us: http://tiny.cc/f3clean. We are not contractors or movers. We cannot make repairs to your home. We can and will continue to do what we can to help remove damaged household items and contaminated carpets and rugs. We cannot and will not jeopardize the health of our men. The Red Cross, the United Way, FEMA, and other agencies are far better at handling long term needs than our organization. We know you are hurting; we are too. This has been difficult for us all.
On Monday, as we begin returning to normal, our workout schedule will resume. We invite men to attend. We are open to all men of all ages (18+) regardless of physical condition. Our workouts are held outside – rain or shine, hot or cold – early in the morning, and are completely free. No further invitation is required, simply show up dressed in workout clothes appropriate for the weather. Complete schedules for locations in Columbia, the Lake Murray area, Lexington and any other of the more than 700 weekly F3 workouts in 11 states, please check out F3Nation.com.
We are honored to call the Midlands “HOME.” We have been dealt a blow, but we will persevere together and be stronger for it all, remembering our state motto “While I Breathe, I Hope.”