Katie O'Reilly via Crowdrise
March 14, 2011
Family and friends:
Most of you are probably aware that I'm running my first marathon on Sunday, March 20. And that's largely because I've been pretty vocally griping about the tendonitis in my knee, rigors of my training schedule, obstacles I've faced planning routes (and getting lost), that one coyote, and the celebrities (B-list and below) I've encountered while jogging.
Thanks for letting me vent =), and for cheering me on. It's meant SO much.
LIke so many others, I've very recently been incredibly humbled to hear and read about the catastrophic natural disasters ravaging so many Japanese families. When I learned of all the children whose parents and siblings are dead or missing, the many homes and businesses that washed away in the flood and the unimaginably brutal forces of shock and stress (physically and mentally) that washed over Japan and other regions in the wake of the tsunami wave, it hit me that I'm ecstatically fortunate to have the health, resources and support to take this incredibly beautiful journey by foot next Sunday. Aching muscles suddenly don't seem like such a big deal, considering that my loved ones are all safe and sound, and here to supply the tips, encouragement and jokes to keep me going. So thank you, THANK you!
At this point, The only thing that could make me happier to run this race is the notion of each mile I log bringing unhoused and otherwise traumatized Japanese children closer to getting the psychosocial and physical relief they desperately need right now—and putting them back in touch with the people in their lives who are their world.
Luckily, there are incredible outreach organizations out there that are already several steps ahead of me. Through the Honda LA Marathon, I've teamed up with one, Save the Children (savethechildren.org), to help mobilize donations that will render all of this possible.
Save the Children has launched an appeal for $1 million to do the following:
—Deliver counseling to help overcome the shock and stress that the disaster and devastation has caused.
—Set up child-friendly spaces to provide a protective environment where children can spend time with other children and trained teachers. This also affords parents much-needed time they can dedicate to investigating food sources, work, accommodation and locating other friends and family.
—Monitor the nuclear power plants and prepare contingency plans for any future disasters.
If you pledge $26.20 (a dollar a mile!) to this emergency fund, you are helping so many people through this time of catastrophe. Together, we can start to rebuild hope for them. Please go to my race page and make a pledge. You'll be getting Japanese families back on their feet, and helping me run with incredible purpose! Plus, you'll be my hero forever.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, guys! And if you can't afford $26.20 or more, remember that no donation is a small one.
All my best,
p.s. To clarify, the Honda LA Marathon is sponsoring this drive; I'm just one team. As far as I know, Save the Children receives 100% of donations. Thanks again!