I've neglected to post at all about what I (and Elias) have been spending a lot of our time doing lately. Running! At least, I run and Elias hangs out in a comfy jogging stroller.
Next Sunday, January 25, I'm running in the Austin 3M half-marathon. Running 13.1 miles isn't something I thought I would ever do. The longest I had ever before last fall run was four miles, and that was over ten years ago!
But last summer I decided that my non-exercising days were over and I had to do something to get into shape. I started out with walking around my neighborhood while pushing Elias in a stroller. At least it was something, but I needed more of a challenge- a goal to work towards that seemed significant.
My idea for "RACE FOR AHOPE" was born.
AHOPE Ethiopia provides two children’s homes exclusively for the care of children infected with HIV. In 2005, the first pediatric program to provide the life saving antiretroviral medications in all Ethiopia was established at AHOPE Ethiopia. The focus of care and outreach changed dramatically with the arrival of the ARVs; what was once considered a hospice program which anticipated death is now a program of education and hope for a real adult future for every child.
Chase and I visited AHOPE while we were in Ethiopia in 2006 and were deeply moved by what we experienced. We spent a whole day with these fabulous children who had such zeal for life. We have sponsored children there ever since our visit, and already three of them have been adopted into loving homes here in America.
As you can imagine, the needs at AHOPE are great. Conditions this past year in Ethiopia have been increasingly difficult and it's becoming more and more expensive to provide loving, quality care to the AHOPE children. RACE FOR AHOPE is my way to raise a small amount of money to help these precious children.
I've trained for seven months, through the heat of the summer, the cold of the winter, and through sheer exhaustion of running. But to be honest, I've loved thinking about the AHOPE kids and praying for their needs as my feet pound the pavement. As much as I'm ready for the race to be over, a small part of me will miss the intentionality and focus on Ethiopia's children that my running time has given me.
My fundraising goal is $2000. And I have just six days to raise it!
Here is an idea of what your money can do at AHOPE Ethiopia:
* $25 provides the fees needed for one child's education for 3 months, including tuition, uniforms, books, supplies, and gym clothes
* $35 provides individual sponsorship of one child for a month
* $50 pays a cook's salary for one month
* $75 pays a certified nurse's salary for one month
* $100 pays for the food of five children for one month, purchases a crib and bedding, or provides one teacher's salary
Here's how you can can support me in my RACE FOR AHOPE:
1. Visit the AHOPE website.
2. Click on the Network for Good button in the top right-hand corner.
3. Click Donate Now on the Network for Good/AHOPE Children page
4. Enter in the amount you want to contribute and follow the rest of the prompts to process your donation. All donations are tax deductible.
5. Please be sure to type "RACE FOR AHOPE, Meagan Brown" in the designation box.
Thanks everyone! Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions. I'll post the race and fundraising results on our blog after the race.