There are some children who have moved into the depths of my heart. As my care for them deepens, the smallness of who I am—my thoughts, my concerns, my priorities—must break to accommodate their presence.
I am glad for the breaking.
Would you like to meet these girls who are changing my heart?
They live halfway around the world, in India. As Our Own has rescued them from the treacherous situations that were leading them to certain futures of bonded labor, either in organized begging or the sex trade. Now they live in the As Our Own family, doing what most young people we know get to do: They go to school. They play. They dream. They hope.
I got to meet them in February when I traveled with As Our Own staff for a visit. Thinking of these girls brings me the sort of joy that is heart-bursting. Because of these precious girls, I’ve joined the As Our Own racing team for I WILL RUN to raise funds and awareness so they will have all the love and care they need. Catch the I WILL RUN vision in this video:
On June 9, Team Chicago will run the 13.1 Chicago Half Marathon in honor of Avishi. All of you who know me know that only love could compel me to run 13.1 miles, in Chicago, in the June heat! But after hearing Avishi’s story (and meeting her in person), I am willing to endure a few hours of discomfort to honor this precious girl who was rescued from the red-light district where she was born. You can read her story in full here, but from Avishi’s profile snapshot, you can see she is 8 years old and is already dreaming big dreams for her future, just like all kids do. And she loves to write poems—a girl after my own heart!
Chicago will be the final race of the I WILL RUN circuit—I can’t wait to see all the As Our Own jerseys gathered together on race day! My fund-raising goal for the race is $1,310. If you are a number cruncher, that’s just $100/mile or $10 per 1/10 mile . . . or 25 people giving $52 . . . or 52 people giving $25.19. Stated like that, $1,310 doesn’t seem too hard to raise!
Would you consider supporting my running efforts and loving girls like Avishi through a gift to As Our Own? Gifts of $10, $25, $50, or more will make a lasting difference, enabling the As Our Own daughters to live lives to the fullest potential.
To help me reach my goal, you can:
1. Give via my secure online fund-raising page (click MAKE A DONATION from the right-side menu).
2. Give via check made payable to As Our Own (note ERIN STRAZA / I WILL RUN), mailed to P.O. Box 101282, Chicago, IL 60610.
Thank you for considering a gift for my girls in India! Together, we can love these children as our own.