(NOTE: Updated 3/27/14)
After a successful 2013 Run4Poverty campaign to the Grand Canyon, I’ve decided to run for cause again this year for the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run in June. I’ve chosen two different excellent organizations to support:
Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.
Founded by the Rev. Everett Swanson in 1952, Compassion began providing Korean War orphans with food, shelter, education and health care, as well as Christian training. Today, Compassion helps more than 1.2 million children in 26 countries.
Local to my city, Cedar Rapids Gives is a local all volunteer 501c3 non-profit organization endeavoring to assist and protect those exploited by abuse with particular concern for, but not limited to, those involved in the human sex trafficking industry.
These two organizations care about what I care about. They strategize how to provide love and care to the broken and unfortunate. My two main focuses of this effort is to support these organizations towards solutions in two of our world’s most dire problems – children in poverty & preventing human trafficking.
In a world where more than a billion children live on less than $2 per day, connecting one child with one sponsor is the most strategic way to end child poverty.
There is an estimated 27 Million modern day slaves that exist today – of which 100,000 and 500,000 children are trafficked into prostitution each year.
What does this have to do with running?
The fact I’ll be capable to wake up the morning of June 28th and head into the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains and survive a 100 mile trail race speaks to the incredible freedoms and resources I have. I’ll be taking in ~5 gallons of fluids & ~5000 calories along the way and the cost of my equipment alone could sponsor a child for clean water, nutritious food, healthcare, education, spiritual development and more for months. I am humbled to simply board a plane to travel across the country when so many are handcuffed to beds or threatened by death to continue the work they’ve been sold into.
Many, myself included, are inspired by athletic pursuits and stories of triumph, determination, and conquest. Let us not lose site of the fact that there are more inspiring stories of those fighting for their lives rather than fighting for position in a silly footrace. There are others in desperate need of water to live another day rather than getting to the next aid station. There are others putting their head down, gritting their teeth, and enduring a life of oppression and torture rather than the temporal pain we welcome before crossing a finish line, grabbing a beer, eating a burger, and enjoying a full nights rest.
I feel called to action in the ways below and invite you to join me in these efforts. EVERYBODY can do something … please consider the methods outlined below to support these organizations.
How to Help (in alphabetical order)
Advocate (These take 1-5 minutes!!!!)
- Speak up for clean water for every child. Dirty water and inadequate sanitation access, combined with other hygiene issues, cause the deaths of more than 4,000 children under the age of 5 every day. Urge your members of Congress to cosponsor the Water for the World Act. Visit beyond5.org to learn more.
- Urge your elected officials to pass the Slavery in the Supply Chain Act. The Slavery in Supply Chains Act would require businesses making $100 million or more annually to publicly state, on their website, if they are taking steps to address slavery in their business operations. Look up your legislator’s phone number and then log your call on our site so that we know you took action.
- Voice your support for international assistance. Making up just 1.4 percent of the total federal budget, the international affairs budget provides critical, life-saving assistance to combat extreme global poverty, hunger, and disease.
- Donate to Cedar Rapids Gives to help rescue, restore, and educate to eliminate human trafficking. Contact me for how to give directly to Cedar Rapids Gives, more information to come soon.
- Simple daily prayer for the less fortunate and our leaders to enact smart policy towards eliminating these issues
- Pray with Compassion International as a prayer partner and support the vital efforts to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.
- Sponsor a child through Compassion International for roughly $1/day to provide nutritious snacks / meals, educational opportunities, health and hygiene training, medical checkups, the caring embrace of a local church, the message of God’s love through Jesus Christ. CLICK HERE TO START or click here to get more information.
Spread the Word
- Help share this webpage to your friends, family, runners, non-runners, whoever…
- Continue working and sharing with others what Compassion International, Cedar Rapids Gives, and End It Movement (among others) does to raise up awareness and solutions to these issues.