sam scott via Crowdrise
February 21, 2012
BENEFITING: Smile Train, Inc.
EVENT DATE: Feb 01, 2012
Have you ever felt embarrassed or felt like you didn’t belong? Maybe you stuttered over a word, or showed up at a social event wearing the wrong clothes, or spilled a drink at a party. Well, multiply that feeling by about a million. Image you were born with a facial disfigurement – a cleft lip. You have to live with it every day. No way to hide it – unless you hide yourself too. Now imagine you’re poor and live in a developing country. From the web site of the charity I want to help: “Clefts are a major problem in developing countries where there are millions of children who are suffering with unrepaired clefts. Most cannot eat or speak properly. Aren't allowed to attend school or hold a job. And face very difficult lives filled with shame and isolation, pain and heartache.…Being born with a cleft in a developing country is truly a curse. Every baby born in Uganda with a cleft is given the name Ajok which means literally, ‘cursed by God.’ Some newborns are killed or abandoned right after birth.”
Now here’s the good news, there’s a charity – Smile Train - that provides free corrective surgery and free training to doctors in developing countries. The surgery is free to the children and costs as little at $250 per child. Image that, just $250 can change a child’s life – forever!
So, here’s the deal. I’m going to try to trek up to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro – 19,341 feet. I’m asking you to make a donation for every one thousand feet of elevation I achieve (rounded up to the nearest thousand of course). For example, if you pledge two dollars and I make it to the top you’ll donate $40 to Smile Train. How will you know that I really made it? Well, I’ll post a picture of myself at the summit and bring back the inevitable tee shirt. If I don’t make it to the summit, I’ll post the elevation I did achieve - you’ll just have to trust me. I return home on Feb 17, 2012 – watch for the update.
Look, I’m a fairly old fella (nearly 60) with no mountaineering experience. Chances are I’ll not get very far so pledge generously. (To those of you with whom I have been training for the past couple of months, that training’s for a different event, not this one so it doesn’t count.) Of course you can just donate a fixed amount.
Now for a technicality: This web site does not support the "pledge per thousand feet" concept. So, you can either donate a fixed amount right now (hit the DONATE button - top, right) or email me your pledge (firstname.lastname@example.org) and you can settle-up when I get back in February.
Lastly, I have it on good authority that if you donate right now then the all-knowing, all-powerful, universal karmic force absolutely, positively guarantees you will win the lottery. (Though not necessarily in this lifetime or this plane of existence. Hey man what did you expect? There’s always “fine print.” Turns out it’s a cosmological constant. Don’t know how Einstein missed that one.)
Put a lifetime of smiles on the face of a suffering child. Your heart will thank you for it (and it’s good karma too).
P.S. No, I'm not taking a tax deduction on the trip. :-)
UPDATE: Well I made it to the summit (without being carried!). I uploaded the certificate. So thank you everyone for your donations. You have changed the lives of several children for the good. Thank you all for your support and encouragement. Next Challenge: Everest! (not a chance!!).