This is my fundraising page for Dollars for Change in the upcoming Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon in Seattle on June 22!
Many of us are told that we can make a difference in the world and that every little bit counts. The best models of this are Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. The difference we can make is often clouded by the busy-ness of every day life. Dollars for Change seeks to realize that difference we can make.
DFC was incorporated in 2006 based on the US population, hoping that if everyone donated a dollar, Katie Rutherford (founder) could make a lasting impact on impoverished communities around the world. To date, DFC has raised over $70,000, but even with some of us donating more than just one dollar, there are so many people to be reached in our effort to involve as many people as we can as we strive towards sustainable poverty alleviation.
Currently, DFC's efforts are focused in a township called Kurland, South Africa. Dollars for Change has fostered the social, academic and emotional development of over 50 students in their after school program for at-risk youth. All students have been tested HIV-negative and DFC has no reported teen pregnancies. DFC has also refurbished over twenty homes for the elderly and disabled and installed over thirty solar water heaters!
Jake and I are collaborating with Western Washington University Professor Vernon Damani Johnson (PhD. Political Science) and founder Katie Rutherford, along with other members of our board to do some research in Kurland next year.
We had been planning to go over with DFC for six months to measure DFC's programs, conduct research and expand DFC's efforts. As many of you close to Jake and I know, Jake's mom (Cindy) has been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. She had breast cancer over eight years ago and had been classified as nearly cancer free when we found out about it's resurgance. This has made it incredibly difficult for Jake and I to understand what this means for us amidst a social angst, ambition and dreams. Given that everything with Cindy's chemotherapy goes well, we will be going for one to two months in the beginning of 2014 to do research and publish work about sustainable development work through Dollars for Change. We are also hoping to establish a partnership with a South African NGO doing work in Kurland and possibly hire a member of the Kurland community as staff.
That being said, I am continuing to run on June 22 for DFC and we are continuing to push forward with our passions not just for Kurland and for global poverty alleviation efforts, but for Cindy. There are only few people like Cindy who have shown me so much about the good in the world, and I know she wants us to move forward with our efforts to do so and invite others into this movement.
Dollars for Change does not predicate itself on emotional images or numbers to solicit donations, rather we believe in not how much one donates or one does, but rather that encourages the posture to give. Dollars for Change invites everyone into that posture to contribute their 'little bit' to make a difference. A great example of this is with elementary schools, Dollars for Change has the most success in fundraising with little ones. It's amazing to see the smallest hands in American society make some of the biggest efforts with DFC's programs because they really understand the vision.
On June 22, I will be running for sustainable, economic development, I will be running to raise awareness concerning our lack of philanthropic efforts in the states, I am running for Kurland, for the future of development work being done globally. I am running for Cindy (because she'd want me to!) and I am runnig to prove to my children (one day, not just yet) that we can make a difference if we all collectively believe and act upon it!
There are several ways you can join Team DFC!
First: Run WITH us! Yes, that's right! Sign up at www.dollarsforchange.org, our cost is only $65, and raise awareness and funds to bring tangible change globally.
Second: If you don't feel like running, run THROUGH us! Donate to one of our fabulous runners who are also using their able bodies to make a difference! Donate right through crowdrise!
Words cannot express our gratitude in your contribution to this movement and something so close to my heart!