One of the things I love about being a freelance writer is I get to talk to really interesting people and find a way to make their research or project accessible to a broader group. Often in the learning process, my perspectives change and that leads to things like my hunting for good Fair Trade coffee.
This fall I wrote a lengthy feature article for a local college’s alumni magazine about their new sustainable communities center. I did a tremendous amount of research for the article including a phone interview with Matthew Sleeth and (computer generated, oops!) letter to Wendell Berry, and in the process was struck by the scope of what it means to be “sustainable” and how, as a person of faith, so many of these practices match up with my tentative understanding of what it means to live the Christian life.
As 2009 ended, I was thinking about ways that I personally and we as a family could take some baby steps toward “loving our neighbor” and one of those goals led me to Compassion International. I have two friends who have long supported Compassion children – my friend Karen even met one of their sponsorees last year while traveling to Ethiopia to adopt their daughter Natalie – and I’d read about Compassion’s fiscal responsibility.
Poking around their website I discovered they also have a Child Survival Program helps developing world mothers and babies by meeting their most basic needs for prenatal nourishment, providing a birth attendant and medical supplies for birth in a clean, safe environment, and fighting the “Big 6 Baby Killers” — diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, measles, HIV/AIDS, and malnutrition — killers that are preventable or treatable. This in particular spoke to me because, while I was pregnant with my second son, I followed a blog written by a nurse-midwife who volunteered for a few months at a birth clinic somewhere in Africa where she regularly saw women and babies die from lack of basic supplies and medicines.
Like many people, we don’t have much when it comes to disposable income but I can raise money! So about a week ago, “Team Compassion” was born. My two Compassion supporting friend’s and I decided to run the Bluegrass 10K in Lexington, Ky. on July 3, 2010 to raise money for Compassion International’s Child Survival Program.
I set up a FirstGiving page, Karen set up a Facebook group, we three made about five tweets and suddenly we’ve raise $215 – oops, now it’s $235! (thanks, Sara!!). We are almost to a quarter of our total goal of $1,000 and I haven’t even set foot on a treadmill yet! I am completely overwhelmed by the generosity and faith people have put in us, as well as the three additional people who are joining us for the 10K.
I will be posting updates from time to time here on the blog about my personal training, fundraising and the like. If you would like to give or just learn a little more, click the “Sponsor Me” button at the top of the blog.
Time to start running!