"If someone says 'Mom,' it is because you deserve to be called that," he said. "When you work with orphans, they want to know who is sponsoring them. When I knew who was sponsoring me, I wanted their email address so I could have a relationship. It's more than money that is needed; it's love and relationships we need."
Kip and Harrison said they had no idea what they were getting into or what they could do when they started the project. They didn't realize kids, many who have no shoes, would walk three miles in winter (July is cold in South Africa, with temperatures dipping into the 40s at night), or that the meal they serve at camp may be the only meal many of the participants get each day.
"When we started, we just wanted to teach lacrosse," Kip said. "We didn't understand the full impact we could have. The kids are very happy, and we're able to work in things that help kids in need — like life skills, teamwork, setting goals, scholarships. "
Cox, a real estate agent, looks at her sons and sees two totally different personalities — Harrison is artistic, into photography and music, while Kip is an aerospace engineering student interested in rocket science. The South African Lacrosse Project has been something they all do together. And she sees it as a life-changing experience for her children.
"Every year volunteers that go with us say they are coming back again the next year," she said. "But then they get home and life happens. Every year we get maybe one or two repeats. But Kip and Harrison keep going back. Six times. And theirs is the only project there that works directly with the kids."
Sebatsane, listening to the conversation, smiles and nods.
"Just the impact of these guys, they've made such a difference to my community," he said. "But the reason they come back is not just that they change our lives, but it has changed their lives, too. They see what they can do."