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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And now for something completely different...

I have a love/hate relationship with the news.

Let me explain.

Ever notice you have some rituals that are a part of your daily life? You don't really know how it came to be that way but, well, it just is. So it is with the news. I watch it every day. Sometimes more than once.

Now, this is where the whole love/hate thing comes in. I don't really LIKE hearing the news. Frankly, it's downright depressing to hear about the escalating jobless rate, crooked politicians and the dow plunging to record lows every 30 minutes. How about some good news once in a while? And besides, the Eyeopener on Channel 5 just hasn't been the same since Ed and Heather left (sorry David and Bianca, it's just the way I feel).

But, it's a necessary evil. I NEED to know what the weather is going to be so I can plan my marathon training around the random acts of nastiness Mother Nature has bestowed upon us this winter. I think all runners are slaves to the wisdom of meterologists everywhere.

So, I watch.

I was home sick on Monday (darn head cold...happens practically every time I train) and I heard this sobering statistic:

The National Center on Family Homelessness released a report today that estimates that one in every 50 American children was homeless between 2005 and 2006. That totals roughly 1.5 million kids.

1 in every 50! Homeless! And we're not talking about some scruffy looking wino holding out a coffee can asking for change. These are CHILDREN! With no home!

Adults are one thing. Granted, no one likes to see anyone down on their luck. I know I don't. But, we've become pretty hardened and jaded by all the stories of the panhandlers who go home to penthouses and drive sportscars. It's hard not to be.

But, we're not talking about opportunistic con artists. We're talking about innocent boys and girls who are counting on us to love them, mentor them and protect them.

It really got to me.

I didn't have a storybook childhood by any means. I come from a divorced family. I moved from town to town more than I wish I had to. I struggled with self-acceptance at an early age due to societal expectations about how the media perceives beauty.

But, I always had a home. I may not have had both parents in it at the same time, but I had food, clothing, and shelter.

After hearing the news, it made my mission seem even more important. I have been training in adverse conditions (extreme cold, snow), sacrificing half the weekend so I can fit those long runs in, and have done some of this while sniffling and sneezing. But, you know what? My struggle is NOTHING compared to what some of these little ones are forced to endure.

I will run 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston on Monday, April 20, 2009 for the Lazarus House. Here is an excerpt from their home page:

We help to prevent homelessness by providing food orders from our food pantry for those who cannot afford to pay both the rent and buy food. If that fails, we provide shelter. All of our guests are assigned an advocate who will assist them with a tailored plan for reconstructing their lives in a way that will allow them to be active and productive members of the community.

Would you like to help one of those children who don't have a home? Please visit my personal fundraising page:

Your support and kindness is so me and I know by the little ones your donation will benefit.

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