Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Running for the Forgotten Among Us

Yesterday the running community took a giant blow to the gut. I was not in Boston, and I can't really speak on the pain that those associated with this tragedy are experiencing. But I do know that I will keep running, every single week, just like I always have, because I possess the same spirit that all my fellow runners possess...a spirit that is not afraid.

This year, I am running the Peachtree Road Race for the third time. The first year I ran the race, I was right in the middle of my divorce and I needed something to focus on that would keep me sane. Running was that something for me. Last year, Jeremy and I both ran the Peachtree, but I was near the middle and he was near the end. This year, we worked really hard and pushed ourselves in a qualifying race so that we could start together. We're pretty darn excited about it. However, this year, I'm not just running with someone, I'm running for someone (or something, since it is a not-for-profit). This year, I am running for the Murphy-Harpst Children's Home.  Murphy-Harpst is a children's home in Georgia that seeks to provide a safe and nurturing environment where severely abused and neglected children can thrive and heal. Severely abused and neglected children. Can you even wrap your head around that? Here are some statistics from Child Help:

  • A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
  • *More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.
  • Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. 
  • It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates. 
  • More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. 
  • Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse. 
  • About 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder. 
  • The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion. 

Five children die every day from child abuse. Every. single. day. Murphy-Harpst is working to stop that. When I approached their giving department to make sure that I wasn't stepping on anyone's toes by making Murphy-Harpst my fundraiser, this is the reply I got from their VP of Development: Thank you for caring about children whom the rest of the world has not only abused, but often forgotten.  Our prayers will be with you.

Let's make this happen y'all. I've made my fundraising goal $5,000. I know it's lofty, but why aim low when there are so many children who can be helped. If you can help, please check out my fundraising page at http://www.crowdrise.com/Murphy-Harpst.

Thank you in advance. You are all beautiful people!