Running for Hope

I’m not exactly what you would call an athlete, and I’ve always struggled with staying committed to any workout program I’ve tried. And running? Probably my least favorite form of exercise. So here are words I never thought I would say: On May 5, I’ll be running with Team World Vision in the Orange County Half-Marathon! If you had told me that last year I would have laughed hysterically. So what made me decide to do it?

This face.

Every day children like this little boy are walking an average of 6 kilometers (nearly 4 miles) to bring home water for their families to use. That water is often contaminated, resulting in sickness and, for far too many, death. They simply have no other option. World Vision is working to change that. Clean water is something we take for granted in the US. We turn on a faucet and it’s there, and we don’t often give it a second thought. But for thousands of families in the developing world, access to this basic resource is extremely limited or non-existent.

I knew a little bit about World Vision’s mission, but I wasn’t aware of the work they’ve been doing specifically to bring clean water to communities in Africa for the past several years. As I looked into it I was deeply affected by the incredible need facing these communities, and inspired by the people who have decided to do something about it. Because it’s not just about providing water, as important as that is–it’s about providing hope. And hope is what keeps people going even in the worst circumstances.

I know there are tons of charitable causes out there, and it can be hard deciding who to support and who to trust. What I look for are organizations that are working to address the root causes behind a problem rather than just the problem itself. That’s how real, lasting change takes place, and that’s what World Vision does. Their water projects, along with their other programs focusing on health, education, food, and economic development, are guided by the goal of pulling these communities out of poverty and giving them a chance to not just survive, but to thrive.

Every $50 we raise provides clean water for one person for life, and hope for a better future for them and their entire community. Our team goal is to raise $50,000. Imagine the difference that would make in the lives of each of the 1,000 people who would benefit from this, and the ripple effect on the communities they live in.

Go back and look again at the pictures of those children. Study them, look into their eyes, imagine meeting them and laughing with them. Now imagine what it’s like for these children to have to walk for miles every day through dangerous terrain while carrying a 45 pound jug of dirty water for their families to drink, cook, and wash with. How would their lives change if they didn’t have to take that walk every day and could instead dedicate those hours to other things, like education? How would their communities change if these children were to have the opportunity to reach their full potential? You can help them find out.

Don’t let anyone tell you that one person can never make a dent in the needs of the world. One person absolutely can make a difference. But we can do so much more if we work together. To learn more about this project, and to help support us in this mission, please visit my Team World Vision page.

If you would like to make an even bigger impact, child sponsorship is an amazing opportunity that will completely change a child’s life, and maybe even yours as well. For $39 a month, you provide a child with things like clean water, food, education, medical care, community development, and hope for a future free from poverty. As a bonus, for each child sponsored our team will receive a $1000 credit towards our goal! All you need to do is visit the Team World Vision Sponsorship page, choose a child to sponsor, follow the instructions, and then email me at ashleysoto01@gmail.com with your name, the name and number of the child, and the date you submitted your form.

Thank you for your support, and watch for updates as we work towards our goal!

*UPDATE: We’re now almost a week away from race day and so far our team has raised $42,338, which is providing nearly 850 children with clean water for life!! We’re getting so close to our target of $50,000, and now we’re kicking things into high gear in hopes of not only meeting but exceeding that goal. To help with this, I’m going to be holding a raffle where every $10 donated to my World Vision Sponsorship page will earn an entry to win an art print of your choice from my Etsy shop. There’s no limit to the number of entries you can earn: $20=2, $50=5, and so on. The winner will be chosen on May 10, 2019. To enter, visit my fundraising page and make a donation, being sure to include your name and email address so I can contact you if you win!

In addition, anyone who chooses to sponsor a child for $39 a month between now and May 10th will also receive a print of your choice. Remember, each sponsorship also means a $1,000 credit towards our goal. To sign up, visit the Team World Vision Sponsorship page. IMPORTANT: In order to receive your print, and to allow us to submit the request for the $1000 credit, please email me at ashleysoto01@gmail.com with your first and last name, the name and number of the child you sponsored, and the date you submitted your sponsorship form. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s