Andrea Ruggirello wrote -
From September 9th- October 18th, I will be joining the hundreds of thousands who have walked El Camino de Santiago before me, and the many more who will come after me. In short, the 500 mile walk is a 2000-year-old pilgrimage through Northern Spain, originally in honor of St. James. Nowadays, people do this walk for a variety of reasons that can be spiritual, mental, physical, and more. One thing I hope to achieve through this walk is to raise money for 826.
Author Dave Eggers and educator Ninive Calegari started 826 Valencia as a place where under-served students could find after-school tutoring, workshops, field trips, and writing programs for free. It has since expanded to 8 additional chapters across the United States. Check out their mission statement and Dave’s inspiring Ted Talk about innovation in education below:
826 National is a network of nine nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping students, ages 6–18, with expository and creative writing. Our mission is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.
I’ve been writing seriously since college, and I’ve been reading since before I started school. I believe that my jumpstart on reading and then my continued love for all things words has driven my success all through my education and professional life. Words are how we communicate and how we stay connected to each other and I think that when someone can communicate well through writing, they hold great power to share whatever wonderful, bizarre, interesting, terrifying thoughts they have bouncing around in their heads. They build bridges between people, made up of these tiny symbols that strung together say something.
You can join me (in spirit!) for a mile or more of my walk by donating money to 826. Every $1 you donate will mean you are taking a mile of the journey alongside me, and my hope is to walk with you all the whole 500 miles, raising $500 for 826. Every $200 we raise will provide a student with a year of free education services through 826 (and maybe produce the next Stephen King), so I’d be thrilled if we went above and beyond to help grant more students the opportunity to be a part of these great programs. Feel free to buy miles until I reach the end!
I’ll end my request with this: I think books are magic. And I think our children not only deserve magic but they deserve the chance to become magicians themselves.
Thank you for considering!