Friday, July 3, 2015

2015 Charity Run - Update 1 - Children International

Charity Run 2015:  Update 1 and Children Information Info

(Reminder - please support these great charities and celebrate my 48th birthday: Donate here.)
(Learn more about the 2015 Fundraiser and my next marathon on July 12.)

We are five days into the charity fundraiser for 2015, and I’m happy to report that you have given over $14,000 so far.  To be fair, this is skewed by a massive $10,000 donation, but over $4,000 in a few days is also wonderful.  Thank you all!

We have another week to go for the marathon, and I’ll be doing a tune up run tomorrow in Pacific Palisades - The Will Rogers 5k/10k.  This is the first race I ever tried. (I trotted the 5k back in 2006.)  It’s a local affair but still attracts 1000’s of people from around SoCal and even sometimes tourists too.  The race is a tour of the neighborhood and then a steep switchback up to Will Rogers State Park,  past the polo field, and finally back down to Sunset and the finish.  I think I have done 7 or 8.

In addition, I referenced running 50 states before I am 50.  Vermont on my birthday next week will be my 33rd of the 50, and I have 2 years to run the remaining 17.  I have a vague plan, but of course one has to react to the rest of life too.  Here’s a post I put up a few years ago about my 50 goals.  The 50 miler is already done and 50 states is next.  For those who don’t know, I’ve already run on 7 continents.

But let’s get to something more important.

Over the next few days, I am going to highlight the three charities I support.  We’ll start with Children International.

This Kansas City MO based foundation has been in existence since 1936 (under a different name) with a focus on disabled children and widows.  35 years ago, the group opened their first projects in India, the Philippines and Guatemala.

From their website:  “Today, Children International gets the majority of its funding from individual and corporate contributions, international development agencies and local governments. Our organization continues to expand our web of hope, reaching hundreds of thousands of impoverished children.  The programs by which we achieve these efforts include health and hygiene lessons, social and financial education, leadership training, sports for development activities, job-skills training and scholarships.”

They work in a huge range of countries:  Colombia, the Dominican, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines, Zambia and the United States.  Truly international!

I visited a center in Chile in 2011, and since then, CI has actually stood down as Chile moved out of the developing nations status.  My visit was really amazing - to see the medical clinic and to meet the staff was incredible.  Getting to go and see the actual people in their homes and chat with them in my poor Spanish was very special.  Every house had pictures of their children.  If you needed a reminder of the bonds between people no matter the circumstances, that was it.

We have 4 supported girls in The Philippines, and for the charity runs, we sponsor a specific project.  This year, we are working to improving CI’s new center in Delhi India.  Sarah, my contact at CI sent this info:

“Shahabad Dairy is a slum in the northwest part of Delhi. It is home to more than 21,000 families crammed into a six-block area. Residents settled there over 25 years ago when they were evicted from government and private lands in Delhi. Children International’s second community center in Delhi, India, will bring much-needed support to impoverished children in the community of Shahabad Dairy.”

There’s even more info here:

Just this one stat alone sends shudders through me:  “The student-to-teacher ratio in Shahabad Dairy is an abysmal one teacher per 100 students.”

All the money we raise for CI on this run will go helping this center come together.

Thank you for your support.
Tomorrow, we’ll come back with an update on the 10k.