I am so super duper excited. Two things that are really important to me, coming together! Running + Ethiopia.
Today, I'm making it official and signing up for the Portland Marathon 2011. Next October, you'll see ME at the starting line.
Most of you know, we recently adopted our sweet little Lucy from Ethiopia. When we traveled to bring her home, our lives were changed forever. Not only in bringing Lucy home to be a part of our family, but we became permanently connected to Ethiopia. We saw the significant need that kids in this country have. So, I am so excited about an opportunity that is coming up.
When Selene and I started talking about a BIG race, we knew we wanted to do it to benefit something important. We knew that it would give us something bigger than ourselves to work toward. I think we've found the perfect thing! Selene and her husband Derek run a non-profit called Courts for Kids. They build sports courts for communities in need all over the world. Sports courts benefit these communities in HUGE ways, giving a place for kids and community to connect and work together and build community. To give kids a chance to do something positive and stay out of trouble. To give schools a place to teach health and PE. Gives churches, orphanages, and schools a source of revenue to feed the work they are doing in their communities...the list of benefits goes on and on.
SO, our thought was to unite our passions. Hers for Courts for Kids, and mine for Ethiopia. We are working right now on communication to build a court in Ethiopia, hopefully at the orphanage in Gondar, Ethiopia where Lucy spent some time. The ball is rolling. YOU can help by joining our team for the Portland Marathon or Half Marathon in October of 2011. We'll spend Jan-October of 2011 raising money to pay for the court by getting our fans to pledge us for the marathon. I am so excited! I think my goal is to raise $100 per mile of the marathon. A court costs roughly $12,000 to build on average, so I'd love to see our team be able to raise that cost. Then, sometime in 2012, a team will go to Ethiopia to help build the court.
You can learn more about the community in Gondar, by clicking here and reading my post about our trip there. I am so excited. When Matt and I visited this children's home in May, we were a puddle of tears the whole time we were there. We were overcome by what amazing work they are doing there. They are giving kids HOPE. They are giving kids LOVE. They are equipping kids for a FUTURE. It is truly amazing. I am so excited about the possibility of giving back to this amazing place, that loved and blessed our daughter for a time in her life that she had no one. They took her in, and helped connect her to us. We will never EVER be the same. Will you consider joining me in Portland 2011? The details of the Ethiopia project are in the works, more details to come. We'll be fundraising with all tax deductible donations going directly to Courts for Kids. You'll be responsible to pay your own entry to the Portland Marathon or Half Marathon. There is no set requirement for how much you raise, you can set your own goals. You are not required to go on the trip to Ethiopia, but it will likely be an opportunity you can take advantage of if you want to. We'll be spurring you on with encouragement and ideas for fund raising along the way. We will plan some fun runs together for those who are local in the months leading up to the race. If you have ever considered a marathon or half, NOW is a great time to join us! It is a great cause, and will greatly benefits some kids in need. Go HERE to sign up for Portland!
I can't imagine better motivation for my first marathon.
(ps, we are NOT forming an official team through Portland Marathon, because it costs extra $. We'd rather see ALL of our money go to the court fundraising, and the main benefits of forming an official team is for competitive reasons, and let's face it...we're not going to be "winning" any race awards, our "win" will be helping needy kids!)