Then my friend, Analisa, and I had this big idea to make our own half marathon event and run one every month. By the grace of God (because Lord knows we didn't have these big ideas when we started, our goals were all about us!) the monthly event morphed into something amazing. TOTALLY AMAZING! Every month, we organize a half marathon on behalf of an organization or a family that is near and dear to one of the hundreds of members of our running club, Stroller Warriors annnnnnd we provide a positive, encouraging environment for some of our ladies (and husbands) to take that leap and run their first ever half marathon. We even have women who push their children in strollers the entire race- how awesome is that?? So far we've held an event to raise funds for the Semper Fi Fund in honor of the Lovely Jen Miller who is running the Marine Corps Marathon on a Semper Fi charity bib. We held the next one to honor "Long Run Liz" our amazing long run coordinator and her daughter Maddie, who beat childhood cancer, but continues to suffer from dabillitating epileptic seisures. She chose an organization that raises funds and awareness for epilepsy research. And in August we raised over $1400 and had 54 runners run in honor of my sweet friend Deana and her daughter, Dara for an organization that supports Austism research. Deana is also running the MCM on a charity bib for this organization. Meanwhile, I've been running these runs and building up confidence that I'll actually be able to run an entire marathon. I think I'm finally convinced this is going to happen. It might be really ugly, but it's happening.
We just did a 16 mile training run on Saturday, we have approximately 6 weeks until THE BIG DAY, and I've finally decided on my fundraiser. I hope you're still with me. I hope you'll love this organization I've selected as much as I do (I love these people and I wanted to be so much more like them someday than I am now). And I hope you'll jump on board the crazy train and help me with my fundraiser. So here is the thing. I had this idea. Back in April, I donated chickens on behalf of my grandmother through Compassion International for Grandma's birthday. She has this collection of chickens. It all started when one day, a couple blue and white porcelin chickens caught her eye in Hobby Lobby and she brought them home. She's not really a collectible country kitchen kind of woman, so we all thought this a little funny. And as a joke, I started buying her chickens for her birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day, you know. Now she has a pretty large collection of chickens that she never really collected in the first place. Poor grandma. I think it so hilarious, I have a really hard time not buying more chickens for her. And she's a really good sport, and frankly, I just love to hear that woman laugh. But they've been thinking about downsizing and moving as they get older and she broke the news this past spring that she'd have to get rid of some of these chickens. Sad face. So anyhow, when her birthday came around, I decided to buy her some REAL chickens. She has a beautiful, generous and giving heart, so this present really suited her better than another ceramic chicken anyway ;)
|This is not my grandmother's actual collection, but this is somebody's grandmother's collection. Megan, I post pictures because I heart you.|
Garden Harvest, Inc. is a not-for-profit farm run by full time volunteers, assisted by seasonal staff & apprentices, and supported by over 5000 enthusiastic volunteers each season. Our mission is the alleviation of hunger & the improvement of nutrition of economically disadvantaged citizens worldwide. We accomplish this by the establishment of community farms that teach people of all ages & any ethnic background methods of organic, sustainable production of fruit, vegetables, eggs, & wool , and in the near future milk & cheese, so they can learn how to grow food for themselves & for others, and in ways that regenerate the Earth's precious soil. Absolutely all of the hundreds of thousands of pounds of organic vegetables, fruit, and eggs produced every year at Garden Harvest are given to the poor. None is sold. In addition, we assist economically distressed individuals from the rural areas of India and Appalachia in the United States in the establishment of their own farms. We do this by training them in animal husbandry and then giving them livestock to take back to their homes where they can implement what they've learned to produce their own food & bring in some income. We teach disadvantaged youth highly marketable skills, so they can obtain permanent, good-paying jobs, as well as methods of organic gardening/farming so they can grow their own food. We teach children of all ages methods of organic food production so that they will know how to grow food for themselves & their families. By request, we teach community leaders & landowners from different regions how to replicate the Garden Harvest model in their communities.
Are you in love yet???? You should be. This is amazing. These are people that give their first fruits to those in need. And we know that our Lord said ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40). These are people serving Jesus, like REALLY serving Jesus (even if that's not their intent- I don't know, their website doesn't mention it). What an amazing organization. This an organization that feeds the local hungry in their community- healthy, organic, nutrient rich food- and has a mission to serve those in Appalachia, the poorest area of our country (and arguably the most beautiful!), as well as the poor and needy people of India.
|Chicken standing guard over baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary and a shepherd boy. Good, chicken. Do you love all the pictures, Megan???|
But you know me, and you probably expect that I'm not just going to ask you for money, and I'm not even just going to ask you to donate some chicks or chickens. That's right. I'll be running the Marine Corps Marathon in a chicken costume. We're talking orange leggings. A fluffy white skirt. A hat with a beak and eyes and a red chicken "comb". A red "gobbler" on the front of my shirt. But here's the thing: I'll be wearing a white running jersey and for every chicken donated (or any other general donation made to the organization- you can donate $5, $10, $15 dollars, whatever you feel led to contribute is so appreciated!) I'll add a feather to my jersey. I need YOUR help to fill out my feathers. I'll attach the name of every donor to a feather and you'll essentially be running with me! I don't want to be a lame, featherless chicken. That's just sad. So, make your donation today! (pretty please) and help me look ridiculous for the MCM (as if I'm not going to look ridiculous enough attempting to run 26.2 miles...)
Make a donation here: http://www.gardenharvest.org/donatechickens0704.htm and take a moment to look around their website, check out the amazing service they provide to their community, the people of Appalachia and India. Please consider donating a dozen baby chicks, some mature chickens, or making a general donation to the orgnanization. YOU can make a difference!
I wasn't able to set up a fundraising page through their website (did you read the part where it says they are run totally by volunteers, I'm not pressing them to make someone spend time on creating that for me), so please forward me your confirmation receipt so I can make sure to add a feather to my fluff on your behalf and keep track of fundraising efforts (I'd love to raise $1000 in chick, chicken, and general donations). Thank you in advance for your support!!! Buk, buk, bagock!!!!!!!!
I haven't made my costume yet, but for those interested, here are my inspiration pictures. I will still need to be able to RUN 26.2 miles, so I will be using some running gear that I'll modify, it should fantastic ;)
|Running hat, paint the bill, add the eyes and the comb. I'm totally considering the hooker makeup, too.|
|I'll wear orange running capris and a fluffy skirt like Donald, here.|
|I like this fabric feathering technique.|
|And it should all add up to me looking like this.|
|Or maybe something more like this...|