Take a closer look at one of the LA Marathon’s Official Charities! Premiere Charity: Team World Vision
by John Huddle
When I was ten years old, I was an angry kid – kicking in doors and punching out windows and generally driving my mother, sister and father crazy. My father served at a church on the campus of the University of Illinois. By the time I was twelve, my anger issues had really isolated me, and I’d taken to sitting in the grass outside the church after service. It seemed like the world would walk past me without saying hello; but when Nephat would see me, he’d stop, drop onto the grass, and smile. Nephat was a graduate student from Nairobi, Kenya. He’d look me in the eye and his body language and tone of voice made it clear that he wanted to be with me and hear about my journey.
Nephat made such a strong impression on me that years later, after finding help with my anger through prayer, I, too, became a student at the University of Illinois. I minored in Africa Studies and studied Swahili as my foreign language. I wanted to give back. I never imagined that running a marathon with Team World Vision could do more good than if I went to Africa myself.
This video “The Journey” tells the story of how a first-time runner (me) ran the LA Marathon to change lives in Africa by providing access to clean water. $50 donated through World Vision will provide one person with water for life. For the longest time, when I thought about “dirty water”, I’d think about the look and the taste. But for the people we run for, it’s the grueling search and the threat of violence and disease that dominates their lives .
Growing up, Nephat spent ten to twelve hours every day fetching dirty water, putting himself at risk of violence – even kidnapping – and putting his family at risk of malaria, guinea worm and dysentery. When our runners fundraise and a community gains access to clean water, we stop that cycle. Children no longer fetch for ten hours a day – they’re in school. Parents are free to start businesses and tend farms. My sponsored child, Eva, just sent me a picture of herself holding her first Kiswahili text book. Last month her local leaders developed a clean water source and she is finally in school! Eva had been walking on average 30 kilometers a day – three 10Ks – for dirty water. But now that search is over!
Team World Vision empowers people like me – a guy who hadn’t run two miles since high school – to take on a physical challenge for the sake of others in need. We have training groups throughout Southern California who support each other in training and in their desire to do something about poverty.
Join us on this incredible journey.
In 2012, nearly 300 dedicated charity athletes ran the LA Marathon with TEAM TO END AIDS (T2), making T2 the largest charity involved in the 2012 LA Marathon. As part of the T2 training program, this group of remarkable individuals raised over $325,000 for the lifesaving care and prevention programs of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).
APLA provides direct care services and HIV prevention programs for 11,000 Angelenos who are living with HIV/AIDS or are at risk of contracting the disease. In 2011, APLA’s Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries distributed more than 150,000 bags of free groceries and personal hygiene products to clients living with HIV/AIDS.
APLA Dental Services offers a full range of low- to no-cost dental care in two state-of-the-art clinics and through a mobile dental van that provides care throughout L.A. County. APLA also offers mental health counseling, treatment education, housing support, and more bilingual programs and services that enhance both the health and quality of life of people living with HIV.
The funds raised by T2 also help power APLA’s HIV prevention education programs, which are housed in the APLA Health & Wellness Center in South Los Angeles. These programs target communities that are most at risk of HIV infection, including gay men of color, Native American / Alaska Natives, and people who use crystal meth. At the heart of our prevention efforts is our HIV testing program, which offers fast, free, and confidential HIV testing along with counseling and referrals to care.
TEAM TO END AIDS (T2) participants raise awareness and much-needed funds for the fight against AIDS. Many participants are complete beginners when they sign up, but after completing T2’s endurance training program, T2 athletes are well-equipped to cross the finish line. During training season, participants receive constant support from experienced coaches, knowledgeable staff, and supportive teammates.
Learn more at TEAMTOENDAIDS.com
Team Life without Lupus
Team Life without Lupus provides athletes with an opportunity to make new friends and reach their health and fitness goals while helping others in the community. In exchange for training and support, you help raise money towards critical patient services in the Greater Los Angeles area. You can help families cope with this disease as we work towards a cure.
Lupus affects more than 1.5 million Americans. In fact, more Americans have lupus than AIDS, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, sickle-cell anemia, or cystic fibrosis, making it one of this country’s most prevalent medical problems. Ninety percent of those diagnosed with lupus are women, and the onset of the disease usually occurs during childbearing age, between the ages of l5 and 44. African American women are three times more likely to get lupus than white women. It is also more common among Hispanic/Latina, Asian and American Indian women. Lupus is a leading cause of kidney disease, stroke and premature cardiovascular disease in young women. However, lupus also strikes children, men and older adults.
What our runners say:
“It was a great experience to be part of the 5K….And what made it even more enjoyable was the fact that I got to interact with different people all working towards a common goal: a cure.” — Eilish Morales
“I completed the marathon in 5 hours 36 minutes and 39 seconds. I never would have been able to accomplish this without the love and support of all the Lupus LA members who inspire me not only to run 26.2 miles, but to be passionate about my work every day. Their dedication to finding a cure, and their courage to share their experience with everyone attending our support groups motivates me to do anything within my reach to be part of their support network. I’m already looking forward to representing Team Lupus LA in 2013!” — Gabby Trejo
About Lupus LA
Lupus LA is a non-profit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus and providing support, services and hope to all people affected by lupus.
Join the team: Joining our team is easy. Fill out a commitment form and submit to Lupus LA. Once we have this information, we will we will mail you your welcome packet. You can find the commitment form on our website at www.lupusla.org.
Contact Info: Elyse Reyes – (310) 657-5667 ext. 303 or firstname.lastname@example.org