On November 1st, 2015, I will have the privilege of running in the New York City marathon as a member of Team MR8. Team MR8 runs in memory of Martin Richard. Martin was the innocent 8 year old boy waiting and watching at the finish line to cheer on the runners as they finished April 15th, 2013.
Martin saw the world as anything was possible. His picture was seen all over the internet and media holding a sign he had made in school. It read "No more hurting peope. Peace."
As a runner my first thought that day was "how dare someone ruin something as simple and pure as running." My thoughts and prayers quickly turned to wondering about the health and safety of those I knew running and the thousand other runners and their families waiting at the finish line and thinking of all the times my family had stood at the finish line waiting for me.
I first learned of Team MR8 when searching for a race to run in March. It had been a long brutal winter here in Massachusetts and I was tired of running on the treadmill. I ran the Race for Peace in Hingham MA. I knew it was not only a team but also a cause I could support.
The Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation formed by the parents of eight-year-old Martin Richard. The foundation honors Martin’s message of peace by investing in education, athletics and community. Our mission is simple: The Martin Richard Foundation honors Martin's message of
"No more hurting people. Peace"
by investing in education, athletics and community.
On April 21, 2014, 102 members of the inaugural "Team MR8" helped Boston reclaim its race by running the 118th Boston Marathon. Since then, Team MR8, the name of which comes from Martin's initials and his favorite sports number, has run in New York and Chicago as well as half marathons and smaller races along the way.
Team MR8 has enabled the Martin Richard Foundation to help create Boston's first Little League Challengers Baseball program which fields two teams of children with physical and cognitive challenges who play six weeks of baseball with Buddies from local Little League teams. The Martin Richard Challenger Sports has successfully expanded to soccer, basketball and swimming. Plans for Challengers Track and Field are underway.
The Martin Richard Foundation has partnered with GenerationOn and Hasbro to form the Martin Richard Bridge Builder Grant Program, a call to action for kids and teens ages 5-18 across the U.S. Kids can get involved and learn about volunteer project ideas by visiting generationOn.org/peace or by spreading Martin’s message on social media by creating their own peace posters and sharing acts of kindness.
At the state level, the Martin Richard Foundation is thrilled to partner with Project 351, a Massachusetts statewide service and leadership program for eighth grade students from each of the 351 cities or towns in Massachusetts. At the 2015 MLK Launch Day, the incoming eighth grade students made a service pledge that began, "For Martin I Will..."
Please help me to support the growth of this Foundation by donating!!
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