will you join me in a challenge that will change lives?

by Anna Blanch on April 3, 2012

If you’ve been reading lately you’ll know that while I write because I must, I run because I can. Last weekend I ran in the Newcastle Hill2harbour 10k and it was all about relishing the race. But this year, I’ve decided to take up a particular challenge and not just for myself.

Sydney’s City 2 Surf is an iconic race all on its own. It’s 14km distance is moderate, though to run the whole distance will still be a challenge for me! But there’s not many races round the world that take you through some of the most beautiful postcard views, including crossing the sydney harbour bridge before spitting you out at Bondi Beach. Yes, that Bondi Beach. Oh, and don’t forget heartbreak hill just before the finish. A wicked hill that will hurt.

All that being said, and the race alone being quite a challenge, that’s not all.

This August, I’ll be running in the 2012 Herald-Sun City 2 Surf as a Gold runner with The Mary Mackillop Foundation.

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I’m thrilled to be partnering with an organisation that is so focused on the transformative value of education in communities and who’ve been committed to the education of rural and remote Australia for almost 200 years. Mary MacKillop’s order, the Order of St Joseph, founded the school that taught me a great love of learning and showed me that anything was possible. Three, almost 4, degrees later, I’m really excited that they are now also offering educational support to refugee communities and providing opportunities for young people to access higher education that wouldn’t otherwise be able to do so. They value local communities serving each other and seek to small life changing projects. Finally, and perhaps most emotive for me, Mary Mackillop was a role model close to my grandmother’s heart, and so it also in her memory that i’ll be taking up this challenge.

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ – Matt 25:40

This is what the Foundation says about their own work:

In the same way that Australia’s first saint, St Mary MacKillop, responded to the needs of her time, the Mary MacKillop Foundation responds to the needs of our time to relieve suffering and give hope by supporting small life changing projects that provide relief from suffering, distress, poverty, destitution, misfortune and helplessness.

Since 1995, the Mary MacKillop Foundation has funded over 300 ‘small life changing projects’, responding to the needs of rural and isolated communities, indigenous groups and people with disabilities. It has also funded Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tertiary Scholarships for over a decade with 32 graduates and another 35 currently enrolled.

Just months after Australia was hit with floods and cyclones, the Mary MacKillop Foundation is continuing the legacy of Australia’s first saint by giving up to 40 extra grants will now also be reserved for projects that focus on disaster recovery across Australia, potentially making a total of 80 grants of up to $10,000 each available.

So what? well, The foundation and I have set a goal to raise $1000 Australian dollars between now and August 12.

Every cent  money will go to support their work in rural and remote Australia. In fact, your support will help change lives and will assist the foundation in meeting the needs of their small life changing projects.

Would you support me in meeting this challenge? Even a dollar (in whatever currency) or pound or euro will help.

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There’s a part of me that would rather see 1000 people give $1 than 10 people give $100. Although, I’m certainly not going to say no to the 100, and 1000 is of course not a limit! There are a number of different ways to donate, through the official channels for Charity runners for the 2012 city surf. This link will take you to the donation page. If you’d prefer to give by paypal or any other means other than the ones indicated on the official donation page let me know via the comments or email me through the contact page on annablanch.net and we can easily work something else out.

Your support means a great deal to me and I thank you in advance for being part of meeting this challenge!

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Listening. Observing. Relishing. Writing. Photographing. Reflecting.

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