Behind the Scenes: Closer to Earth

Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen are no strangers to hard work. But little did they know what kind of hard work they were in for when the exited the Oklahoma City airport into 100 degree weather. With only $71.03 in their pockets, they ventured into the city. They lived for a week in a run down home, with 15-20 hour days of volunteering for three organizations. Closer to Earth was one of them. This behind-the-scenes shows you what wasn’t aired on TV!

The producer’s told Closer to Earth, that they were “Independent film producers working on a documentary about organizations that help others.” They were completely unaware that Chuck and Dave were the co-founders of Anytime Fitness. The producers simply said that Chuck and Dave were “volunteers,” helping to produce the documentary.

Meet Closer to Earth

Closer to Earth is a non-profit youth group empowering youth through organic gardening and environmental actions. Closer to Earth is all about personal growth.

Allen Parleir, the founder of Closer to Earth said,

“I always felt like I had some skills with teenagers who weren’t making good choices, to help them turn their lives around.”

With the hot temperatures, you can probably imagine the sweat, blood, and tears that Chuck and Dave experienced while working with the Closer to Earth team. Blisters formed, as did friendships.

Rachel Kastner, co-coordinator for Closer to Earth, explained,

“It’s really, to me, all about transforming youths lives, and giving youths an opportunity to grow and succeed…and for a lot of our kids, it’s an alternative to something negative.”

Dave explained his experience with Closer to Earth,

“Education and personal development are the characteristics Allen brings to these kids. Allen is completely organic and teaches kids how plant life is just like human growth. We all have adverse conditions, some better than others, but at the end of the day you will find life.”

During their time with Closer to Earth, they transformed an underprivileged city block and into a beautifully landscaped haven. They also donated $25,000 to Closer to Earth, which is a full year of funding. And they set up a $20,000 college scholarship for the kids of Closer to Earth, so they can follow their dreams.

Helping Those In Need

Closer to Earth provides their services free of charge to their city! Support the Closer to Earth by donating today. Anything will help them to get more kids off the street and in the garden!

To see more behind the scenes from Secret Millionaire, click here.

What was your latest volunteer/donation adventure?

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