Why in the world are you running that ungodly amount of miles??
Many of you have asked yourselves, or even asked me, this question when you see me complain about the heat on my running posts on Facebook. Up until this point, I may have not made it very clear. Well, here I am to rectify that. On October 9th, 2011, I will be running 26.2 miles in the Chicago Marathon. The reason? The purpose? Water.
It’s so very easy for us to take clean water for granted. Heck, I’ll sometimes spit water on the GROUND even while doing my long training runs. I’ll pour it over my head. I’ll splash it on my arms. And this is high quality spring water we’re talking about, people.
There are countless millions in Africa, however, who can walk close to 50 MILES just to get water that isn’t even close to as clean as what I poured on myself. We’re talking children walking and carrying giant 5 gallon drums of water almost every day. They’re walking twice the distance I’ll be running, just to get water for themselves and their families.
Here’s where Team World Vision comes in. Instead of walking 50 miles for water, these kids can go to school and tend their gardens. They can enjoy their families. They can LIVE their lives. By running for World Vision, I am helping provide clean water wells built in their villages. More importantly, YOU can help provide these very same things, but without the need to run 26.2 miles. (How often is it in life that you get to utilize a scapegoat to get out of something difficult–WITH the scapegoat’s permission?!)
See the thing is, I can do the running. If you’d asked me that 4 months ago, I’d have said you were crazy, but it turns out if I just DO it, I really can do the running. So I’ve got that part covered. You can thank me later. What I CAN’T do is provide all the funds needed to sponsor these children. That is where (I pray) you come in. By sponsoring just one child, you help contribute to a single village in Africa in a BIG way. Your money doesn’t just go into a general fund, or just go to that child alone and leave other kids in the same village to fend for themselves.
World Vision takes the money from your monthly child sponsorship, and leverages it to: help build a clean water well in the village, to create an education system in the village, to jumpstart an agricultural program in that village, and funding business opportunities for the villagers to create an economy there–providing not only ongoing food for the everyone there, but a sustainable job pool for the other men and women in the village.
“Ok, Dan, you’re tugging a little too hard on my heartstrings…how do I actually help??”
Thank you for asking, Extraordinarily-Eager-and-Wonderfully-Amazing-Friend!
All you need to do is let me know you want to sponsor a child. If you even want a picture before you commit so you can see who you’d be sponsoring, I can email, text or describe the picture to you as well. Once you know you wanna do it, talk to me and I’ll take care of the rest!
“That is SO incredibly easy, Dan! But how much would it cost??”
You’re right, it IS easy! And thank you for asking, Fiscally-Responsible-and-Easy-Riding-Friend!
All it costs to sponsor a child is $35 a month. For those of you who are wary with your money, let me say a few things. First, this will be the cheapest “bill” you pay each month. I mean, Netflix is even rivaling this (am I RIGHT, everyone?!?! Can I get a WITNESS?!!). Second, this is not a “bill”, but an opportunity to make a very real impact on an entire village’s future (how cool is THAT?!).
Third, and most importantly, World Vision has been consistently ranked as one of the Most Fiscally Responsible ORGANIZATIONS in the world! Read that again–not just “Most Fiscally Responsible CHARITIES”, but Most Fiscally Responsible ORGANIZATIONS. That’s impressive.
In fact, 85% of their expenses in 2010 were paid directly to funding their clean water/educational/agricultural programs abroad. The rest went to enable them to fundraise and also to manage the organization. That is unheard of in almost any company. They are also extremely upfront with the breakdown and audits of their expenses (for more info, visit http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/about/why-donate?open&lpos=top_drp_AboutUs_Accountability) That way, you know your money is being put to good use.
If you’ve read this far, THANK YOU. I appreciate it more than you know. If you want to sponsor a child, DOUBLE THANK YOU. I encourage you to think and pray on it (but don’t delay too long–the marathon is on October 9th!!), and get creative! Go in on sponsoring a child with a group of friends, coworkers, your small group! Write to your sponsor child, and send them words of encouragement, prayers, and lovely notes and pictures! LOVE them and their future the way God loves you and your future.
Even if you can’t provide monetarily, I more than welcome your prayers as I complete this marathon and seek out even more life-changing sponsors! Thank you again for the part each of you have played and continue to play in my life, and I hope to hear from you so soon!
To contact me for sponsorship opportunities, please comment down below on this post, or email me at dan.clair [at] gmail [dot] com