Friends, I am excited to run the 2013 ING New York City Marathon in support of Oxfam America, an organization dedicated to righting the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice worldwide. Oxfam saves lives, develops long-term solutions to poverty, and campaigns for social change. As one of 17 members of the international Oxfam confederation, Oxfam America works with people in more than 90 countries to create lasting solutions.
Please consider contributing to Oxfam America as I train to run 26.2 miles in New York City on November 3rd. This will be my second marathon, and I am excited to partner with such an outstanding organization, keeping me motivated through my longest training runs.
When I decided to raise funds for Oxfam, I was primarily excited by their work in business training in the developing world as a means to alleviating long term poverty. In recent weeks, their work with the scores of displaced Syrians has made me proud to partner with such an outstanding organization.
As I train in these final weeks for my race, please consider helping fight poverty worldwide with a contribution to Oxfam. My goal is to raise at least $3,000 for Oxfam. Below is a list showing examples of how far donations of all sizes can go:
$12 for twenty pounds of multipurpose soap. For many of us, a bar of soap is a staple by the sink. For others, a bar of soap can save a life. Soap can stop the spread of disease or keep a child healthy.
$25 provides a fuel-efficient, portable cooking stove. This gift offers warmth and is an essential survival tool for displaced women. A fuel-efficient stove like this lessens the need for firewood, reduces deforestation, and cuts down the time spent by women gathering scarce firewood. This for many women reduces the need to venture into areas where they are at risk of violence.
$35 provides a school meal program for one child. It’s hard to nourish the mind if the belly’s empty. This gift ensures that children in poor communities get a nutritious meal at school. And with proper fuel, there’s no stopping the potential of young minds.
$50 is enough for an emergency toilet. You will help prevent the spread of deadly diseases in crisis situations. This simple but important gift can save lives by creating more sanitary environments for people living in camps after disaster strikes.
$135 provides a water pump. A manual water pump allows people to access fresh drinking water in their own communities, rather than having to walk for miles to access it. This simple pump alone can save an entire village from hours of labor and keep people healthy.
$175 digs a well. Wells create safe sources of drinking water for entire communities. A healthy well free of contaminants saves lives. It’s also a great long-term investment because a safe well reduces the community’s vulnerability to future droughts or floods.
$250 plants 500 trees. Trees not only produce life-sustaining crops like avocados and bananas, but they also prevent erosion and provide much-needed shade for coffee and other staple plants which means that these trees are key to economic growth and a greener world.
$275 stocks a cereal bank. A "cereal bank" is a storehouse that can hold tons of cereals like corn and millet for a village. The idea is to head off disasters before they strike. So, in drought-prone areas, should crops fail, villagers can turn to their local bank of grain. Like any good bank, people are granted loans in lean times and are obliged to repay loans with a little interest so that the project can grow. Food to feed the hungry and a seed storehouse: rich dividends indeed!
$5,000 helps a village recover from a disaster. This gift provides a single village with everything it needs to recover from a disaster. That means food, shelter, and clothing after an earthquake or hurricane; restoration of wells after severe flooding; fuel and blankets in mountainous regions to fight freezing conditions; mosquito nets to fight malaria in tropical regions; animal feed and seeds to help farmers restore their means of earning a living; and cash-for-work programs to help people get back on their feet.