Running For Water

Ugandan child

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like running. I don’t like working out or being out of breath in general. Running seems like such an efficient way to exercise, and runners are always so into it, that every few years I get some kind of wild idea that I should try running again. It never lasts more than 30 seconds. I remember “Oh yeah, I hate running,” and then I just walk, and everyone’s happy again.

This is one of the reasons I am in awe of people who run marathons. It’s mostly “How can you do that to your body?” but also “Wow, you can do that with your body!” And then there are people like my co-worker, Doug.

Not only is Doug participating in this weekend’s Los Angeles Marathon and punishing his body in order to do so, but he is also doing it to inspire people. Doug is running a relay to raise money for Team World Vision, a group that brings clean water to communities that need it most. Here’s what Doug has to say about why he’s doing this:

I was inspired to run with Team World Vision after learning how many people still don’t have access to clean water, something I take for granted. Did you know that nearly 1,600 children under 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene? World Vision is providing a new person with clean water every 30 seconds and the funds I raise through this race will help them continue to do so until the clean water crisis is over, something that is possible in our lifetime.

Team World vision water well in Africa

Through World Vision’s water projects, $50 brings clean water that lasts to one person. Together, my wife and I have committed to a goal of raising $5,000, clean water for 100 people.

These funds will bring clean water that frees children from deadly disease and liberates women and children from a life spent gathering dirty water. It restores health and opens the door to education, a promising future, and a full life.

Doug and his wife sponsor a child in Uganda named Ronald, who benefits from the very wells built by Team World Vision’s efforts. He doesn’t talk about it much around the office, but he’s been quietly building support from generous people who want to see him go far. We can all go farther by supporting him.

Click here to help bring clean water to people across the world!

3rd Grader Organizes Book Drive for Casa Pacifica

book drive

Killian B., an Agoura Hills 3rd grader, is collecting gently used children’s books for the foster children of Casa Pacifica. You drop your books off in the collection bin outside of Stevenson Fitness in Oak Park (at the corner of Kanan and Lindero Canyon).

Her mother told me that the bin already filled up once. It will be outside the gym through this week.

If a 3rd grader can cook up this idea and actually follow through with it, don’t you think we should support her? Go, Killian!


Stevenson Fitness

706 Lindero Canyon Road

Oak Park


Kids Can Give Back With Charity Checks

donation box

I want to model giving back for my children. I have done this with my work for Help a Mother Out, a group that gets diapers to needy families. I do it with my volunteering at their school, and we do it together when we prepare donations of our gently used goods to local charities, and non-perishable food for the food bank.

But giving the children the power to choose what charity they want to help? I’ve never come across an opportunity as easy as Charity Checks.

With Charity Checks, you donate money, and you get blank checks that total the amount of your donation. Then you give the blank checks to people as gifts. In turn, they fill out the recipient – any registered 503(c) charitible organization in the US – and send it in.

That means if you donate $50 and ask for two $25 checks, you can give one to each child (if you have two children, like I do) and they can choose what charity gets the money. So if you have a child who loves to conserve and recycle, he can choose a environmental charity. If you have one who cares deeply about animals, he can choose a shelter. If one of your children cares about babies, she can pick Help a Mother Out!

People purchase Charity Checks as business gifts for employees or clients. Instead of the “A Donation to ____ Has Been Made in Your Name” message, why not send a Charity Check and have the recipient pick the group of their choice?

You can order Charity Checks online, and they take PayPal! If you buy Charity Checks on Giving Tuesday (December 2), you aren’t just getting your holiday shopping done- you’re part of a movement to give back.