Running, I confess, has been a selfish indulgence. Mostly, it’s a solitary pursuit that benefits myself. That’s not a bad thing – those benefits are real and worthwhile – but as the kids say, it is what it is.
After reaching my goal to run in the Boston Marathon this year and checking that off my bucket list, I began casting about for a new running goal.
- Get a dog to run with me? Love love, love this idea … but first, I have to build a bigger fence around the yard.
- Take up the triathlon? Not crazy about swimming. Or about biker shorts.
- Sign up for an ultra-marathon, a 50-miler or 100-miler? Sorry, but that just sounds crazy. (Sign held by a spectator at the KC Marathon: “Why 26.2 miles? Because 26.3 would just be crazy!”)
Running has been all about me. It’s time to make it about somebody else. But to make this work, I’ll need your help.
I joined Team World Vision to raise money, to save lives.
So, I’ll be running in the Williams Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Okla., on Nov. 24. This is way more important than setting a new PR or placing in my age group. As a member of Team World Vision, I’ll join teammates who are running to raise funds for life-saving clean water projects in Africa.
More than 6,000 children under age 5 die each day from diseases spread by unsafe water or lack of basic sanitation and hygiene. Nearly 1 billion of our global neighbors go without clean water every day.
Lack of access to safe water is the #1 preventable cause of death on earth. We know how to fix this.
World Vision works in Africa (and around the world) to provide access to clean water, basic sanitation facilities, and hygiene education — because these are some of the most effective ways to prevent child disease and death.
As a member of Team World Vision, I’ve committed to raise $1,310 to provide access to clean water for communities in Africa, helping fund water and sanitation projects in countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Zambia. Why $1,310, specifically? Because that would be $50 per mile of the 26.2-mile marathon course. And $50 provides clean water for one person.
Here is where you come in. Please consider writing a check, or contributing online at my personal fundraising page.
I’ll admit it here … I hesitated before signing up. I’m not crazy about asking my friends for money. Besides, this could be embarrassing. What if nobody contributes? There I go, being all self-centered again.
I’m trusting that you will come alongside … not just to help me … to provide real help to real people who face a real life-and-death crisis. I’m secretly hoping that you will exceed my expectations and give generously above and beyond the puny goal I set for myself.
Maybe the answer is obvious. Why is clean water so important?
- No access to clean water cripples communities.
- In the developing world, women and children walk an average of six kilometers to collect water for their families. The journey to and from the nearest well takes hours. And much of it is spent carrying a heavy jug of water. A majority of these women and children’s time is spent getting water. They could otherwise be working at their house, building a small business, or going to school. But instead, the lack of clean water causes poverty to persist.
- Poverty isn’t the only result of inaccessible water. The water that women and children walk hours to get is often dirty and diseased.
No clean water and poor sanitation = disease and death
World Vision works in impoverished, mostly rural areas to provide potable water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education (WASH) so that waterborne illness decreases, health improves, and the burden on women and children is lessened by reducing the distance to water sources.
Over the past 27 years, World Vision has provided 12 million people with the many benefits of clean water. They are now dramatically scaling up their WASH programs, with the goal of reaching 1 million beneficiaries per year. As one of the leading WASH nongovernmental organizations globally in both funding and footprint, World Vision invests about $90 million per year to operate WASH programs in 57 countries.
You can learn more about how World Vision provides clean water at The Why and How of Clean Water