Don’t know about you, but I would pay NOT to run a marathon. I got an email the other day from a fella that’s running the NYC marathon while collecting money for one of my favorite charities, Casa Guatemala. (Note: If donating to orphans doesn’t do it for you, support this guy for his name alone – Egbert. How cool is that? It’s as if he finally escaped Dilbert’s strip and Dogbert’s rule. Keep on running Egbert. Keep on running.)
What do the New York City Marathon and Casa Guatemala have in common? Well, they’re both sponsored by ING (my employer). About 4 years ago ING granted me a sabbatical to volunteer in Casa Guatemala, an orphanage located on the banks of the Río Dulce near the Caribbean coast. Casa Guatemala was founded about 25 years ago by Angie Galdamez who has grown the organization to what it is today. It started out as a small orphanage for babies in Guatemala City and now entails the orphanage in Río Dulce that cares for the health, nutrition and education of 250 children. Please visit www.casa-guatemala.org for much more on the activities of the Casa and to get a visual impression of what the Casa looks like.
I worked as an ‘Orientador’ , or caretaker, and together with two other volunteers I was responsible for a group of up to 25 boys between the age of 5-10 years old. We would wake the children up in the morning (5am !), get them ready for breakfast and then school, be there for them during the school breaks and after school. Help them out with any homework and read them bed time stories before going to sleep at around 8pm. One of us would always spend the night in the dorm with the boys in case one of them would have to go the toilet or have the occasional nightmare (no electricity after 8.30pm, so pitch dark!). Not always easy to divide your attention over so many kids at the same time. At times it has been challenging, but ultimately a very rewarding and unforgettable experience. See http://picasaweb.google.com/egbert.voerman/CasaGuatemala for some pics of my time in the Casa.
On November 4th I will be participating in the New York Marathon for the third time and of course I will try to beat my time of last year. However my main goal this year is to raise money for Casa Guatemala. Together with 10 colleagues (from 6 different countries) who are also running in the NYC Marathon we are aiming to raise enough money to cover one year of school supplies, textbooks and other educational materials. Your tax deductible donation*, be it $10 or $1,000, will go a long way against that goal. And the fact that ING will match the first $2,000 raised be each runner** will make your donation all the more effective.
Making a donation is easy. Just visit https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=21070 . The donation form is pretty self explanatory, it even allows you to allocate your donation to more than one runner. You can also donate on behalf of somebody else (for example your company) Please note that we have partnered with Groundspring.org, a non-profit organization facilitating on-line donations with any of the major credit cards using a secured connection, so your online donation will be save ! The campaign runs until Monday November 12th,
Do you want to know how I am doing during the marathon or if and in what time I make it to the finish line? Athlete Alert will send email or sms alerts to the first 5 persons donating $50 or more !
Thanks very much in advance for considering making a donation towards the education of the Children of Casa Guatemala.
*for tax residents in the US, Canada, UK and Spain
**matching policy differs per location