David Thill
David Thill's Fundraiser

Thousand Waves provides martial arts and self-defense training for everyone, including the most vulnerable of our peers. I invite you to take part.

Our annual fundraiser supports scholarships, our Adapted Seido Karate program for children with disabilities, and Violence Prevention outreach in the community.

$100 towards $300

Hello there! Welcome to my fundraising page, where you can take part in the important work that Thousand Waves does.

Last July, a Google search brought me to Thousand Waves for a short self-defense workshop. I had no idea anyone was practicing karate upstairs from where I was learning about (among other valuable things) the importance of using my brain in potentially dangerous situations. It was very good fortune that I stuck around for a few minutes afterward, leading to my becoming involved in a practice that is not only physical (imagine, physical activity, in America, in 2017!) but forces me out of my comfort zone while introducing me to some of the kindest and most diverse inhabitants of this city. Had I not taken that five minutes to learn more following my workshop, there's a good chance the many positive changes that have taken place in my life over the past nine months -- not only at Thousand Waves but far beyond -- wouldn't have taken place.

If there's one thing I've realized over the past three years, it's how lucky I am as an able-bodied white male born in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. But while I have benefited from the training I receive at Thousand Waves, the organization also provides training, both in karate and self-defense, to the most vulnerable of our peers -- from young women getting ready to graduate high school, to members of the LGBTQ community, to children with disabilities. As a non-profit organization, donor funding makes those initiatives -- and others, like the scholarship program that provides financial assistance so that anyone can come learn -- possible.

In other words, this is good work, and it is necessary work. Think of it this way: In 2017 America, a women-owned and managed member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois -- with a sprawling youth program that builds a core of generous and engaging young adults -- is a worthy cause. In this time of constant social justice and congressional campaign asks, I invite and encourage you to make Thousand Waves part of your giving, and then to schedule a free trial class, and then begin your training.

Thank you.

David Thill


Thousand Waves is a mission-driven not-for-profit in the city of Chicago that has been active in the community for over 32 years with a mission to foster fitness, healing, empowerment, and peacemaking.