Organization founder Keith Edmonds vowed to stay on the roof of Active Life Chiropractic dressed as Batman from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m. or until the goal was reached.
“Keith Edmonds is on the roof or aka Batman,” said volunteer Charlie Brooks. “What we really need you to do is we need you to come out and give some money. Today is Giving Tuesday. What that means is we need money to get Keith off the roof; he needs $3,000.”
Giving Tuesday is in its sixth year and encourages charities, families, businesses, communities and students around the world to come together to celebrate generosity and give.
“Giving Tuesday is often called the Black Friday of the nonprofit world, and we are ready to take it on with the same amount of energy,” said a Facebook post by the Keith Edmonds Foundation.
About five hours into the 12-hour event, the $3,000 goal had already been exceeded by more than $1,000, but Edmonds wasn’t ready to come down just yet.
“Together we’ve raised $4,553 both here locally and online,” said Edmonds in a Facebook Live video. “It’s truly amazing what you guys have been able to do to help us empower and assist child abuse victims, but like every good thing, we’ve got a bigger goal now.”
The foundation changed the goal to $12,000 raised by 5 p.m. and Edmonds promised to stay on the roof dressed as Batman and even took it one step further.
“If we raise $12,000 by 5 p.m., I will stay on the roof until midnight,” said Edmonds. “That means I will be up there from 5 a.m. until [midnight]. So that’s like 17 of 24 hours.”
At press time, Edmonds had raised $6,156 and pledged to stay on the roof until midnight or until the $12,000 was raised.
Donations may be made until midnight at Active Life Chiropractic or at keithedmondsfoundation.org/donate.
Edmonds started the Keith Edmonds foundation in 2016 to empower child abuse victims in Wilson County and bring awareness to an issue that is commonly ignored or taboo.
“Tennessee ranked 365th in the country in child well being,” said Edmonds. “There were 66,000 cases of child abuse reported in 2015. Some of those cases were incorrectly reported. If we look at those numbers and divide them by the number of counties in Tennessee, that means there were 700 cases in Wilson County in 2015. That’s almost two cases a day. If you look across the nation, there are cases reported every 10 seconds.”
Edmonds himself is a survivor of child abuse. We he was 14 months old, his mother’s boyfriend held his face to an electric heater, resulting in third-degree burns and scarring to his face.
He endured the abuse and the taunting of schoolmates, and as a result turned to substances and alcohol to cope. Seven years ago, he decided enough was enough.
“In 2010, I had a conversation with a God I didn’t know existed or not,” he said. “I didn’t know if he loved me or not. I was a functioning alcoholic. I decided I was going to put it into the hands of a God I didn’t know was there. Since then, I haven’t touched alcohol. It was on my 35th birthday that I quit drinking.”
Since founding the Keith Edmonds Foundation in 2016, Edmonds and his team of volunteers raised money for and supported child abuse survivors through several programs, including one that provided backpacks for younger victims of child abuse.
“I don’t hide in dark places anymore. I come out and show the victory because I am the victor,” said Edmonds. “If I continued down the path of victim, I wouldn’t be the victor I am today because I would have allowed him to win.”