BENEFITING: Amistad International
EVENT DATE: Aug 25, 2012
Last year I decided to sign up for a 100 mile run in the mountains of Washington, not knowing who or what I would dedicate the effort to. The run, called the Cascade Crest 100, is the equivalent of running four consecutive marathons and scaling the Empire State Building nineteen times (over 20,000'). I have 32 sleepless hours to finish. Being subjected to this course involuntarily would violate the Geneva Convention, which is why I want the countless hours of hard training to amount to more than crippling soreness and a finisher's belt buckle. I'm now blogging about the race and the fundraising effort at www.hundredmiledreams.com
I'm asking you to spend perhaps 15 minutes learning about a small school in northern India that I care deeply about and to donate to help "untouchable" children in India live healthy, happy, meaningful lives. Buddha's Smile School is committed to working with children who otherwise would be almost guaranteed a life of struggle. They are refugees, lepers, girls from poor villages on the verge of being married off at age 12 to someone three times their age. An education may not solve all of their problems, but for many it may be their only opportunity to pursue a life with dignity and possibilities.
I learned about Buddha's Smile School from my partner, Dana, who has volunteered hundreds of hours at the school and continues to help write grants, update the website, and provide overall support. Dana has a picture of Rajan, the founder of BSS, on her table. Rajan is crouching next to a young boy, both smiling beautifully. Dana made this wonderful video that captures how the school and its staff are bringing them back from the brink of poverty, hunger, and abuse and nurturing them toward health, happiness, and a belief that dreams are possible.
I have heard nothing but stories of the life-changing power of Buddha's Smile School, and it is an honor to run for all of the staff and children there. Next winter, Dana and I are planning to make the trip to Sarnath, India to visit and volunteer.
Your support means the world to me and to the children. After the initial euphoria of running through the mountains wears off, when I am slogging through the night alone and struggling with each step, your donations and the impact they will have will keep me going. My feet will feel light again with this deep sense of purpose. Maybe you can offer a quarter for every mile I'm running, maybe more, maybe less. The IRS reimburses at $0.51 per mile, for driving. Or better yet, maybe this is the kind of thing that is moving enough for you to share with your friends and family, knowing that if only a few of them pitch in a dime per mile, that's more help for the kids. Many wallets makes light work, so Facebook and Tweet away! 100% of your donation will go Buddha's Smile School through Amistad International, it's fiscal agent.
If you want to know more about the run, I'm hoping to send some more about that so you can live the 100 miles vicariously. I ran a 50 mile race last fall but this is altogether a different animal. I'll share photos and videos soon after my recovery. I'd love any encouraging words, photos, quotes, or suggested running songs to take on the trail with me.
With love and hope,