Sunday, July 18, 2010

Running for fun and a good cause

Hello friends and family! 

As many of you know, I have started run-walk-running for fun and fitness. Generally I run for 5 minutes, walk for one, and repeat. Because I don't run with earbuds or tunes, running affords me a nice, rare time of solitude and reflection. 

One recurrent running thought, besides "When will I be done?" and "I can't wait to eat breakfast!" is: Wouldn't it be nice if all this activity could benefit someone besides me? Lots of people these days are doing marathons for cancer research and other fundraisers. Well, I'm not quite ready for a marathon yet. But I'm training for a half marathon (13.1 miles) this fall, in the Little Grand Canyon near Huntington, Utah. In honor of our five-year anniversary with Alex this year, I'd like to use this event to raise awareness and funds for disabled and homeless children at the Holt Ilsan Center in Korea. 

Holt International Children's Services is an international adoption and child welfare agency working in 13 countries, including the United States. Our personal connection is obvious - Alex was adopted through Holt (Sam was adopted through a different agency). Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed with Alex and Sam, I can draw inspiration from Harry and Bertha Holt, who were into their fifties with six children already when they decided to adopt eight more from Korea. More about Holt and its history is here. And, just for fun, click here to see a picture of Grandma Holt setting a world record for her age group in the 400 meters at the Hayward Masters Track and Field Championships in 1996. :-)

Back to Holt Ilsan Center. The Holts established it after the Korean War to care for disabled and homeless children. Currently, Ilsan serves the needs of approximately 300 residents, ranging in age from toddlers to adults. Most of the residents have some sort of disability, and receive therapy and training to overcome obstacles they may face. They have a performing choir, a competitive wheelchair basketball team, and a dedicated staff of professionals and volunteers. See attached pictures (used with permission from Holt) - but beware - some of these kids are dangerously cute! 

Currently the Ilsan Center needs some funding for maintenance (some of the original buildings built by Harry Holt are still in use), as well as other needs related to caring for disabled people. I would love to collect any donations you may care to give. If you're not in a position to give, that's all right. I know it's a tight economy - no donation is too small, and any amount will help. Please make checks out to Holt International and mail them to me at 8916 Sutton Way, Sandy, Utah, 84093. All donations are tax deductible. Additional information about Holt's financial accountability is at the end of this letter.

Many thanks for your friendship and support.


Holt International Children's Services qualifies as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization under IRS code 501(c)(3).
Contributions to Holt are tax deductible if you itemize.
Holt is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Children's Charities of America and the Independent Charities of America, Participating in the Combined Federal Campaign.
Holt is registered as a private voluntary organization with the U.S. Agency for International Development.

No comments: