Running 200 Miles for Child Sponsorship

08/07/14

Could I really run 32 miles in two weeks? It would be a lot of work, but if people supported the idea, I would do it. 

 
Several friends and family members had signed up to donate $1 to Children of the Nations (COTN) for every mile I ran. I set my goal at 32 miles, because $32 covers one month of child sponsorship. Since COTN is in the middle of a sponsorship campaign, that seemed like the perfect number to shoot for. 
 
Then a friend pledged to give $50 if I ran 50 miles. Wow, I thought. I might need more than two weeks to finish this. 
 
Then came the big challenge from another friend: Run 200 miles! With that, I decided my first goal would be to run 32 miles between July 11 and July 24. Then I would continue running until September 30 to reach my 200-mile goal. 
 
On July 24, I "crossed the finish line" on the first 33 miles of my goal
On July 24, I "crossed the finish line" on the first 33 miles of my 200-mile goal. Now I'm hoping to raise $32 toward sponsorship for each mile I have left to run.
 
I ran hard for the next two weeks. Thankfully, my legs kept me going to 32. Then I decided to do a bonus mile, to finish well. How hard would one more mile be?
 
Mile 33 brought me more than I expected. I began reflecting on the thousands of children my wife Renee and I have seen and impacted during our 12-plus years with COTN. Many of these children had no hope before, but are now growing strong, graduating from high school and attending university. Children like David Samuel, who I met as a 12-year-old orphan in Malawi. On his own, he would have had no chance at an education or a better life. But thanks to his sponsors and others at COTN, today he’s studying at university.
 
As I ran, I thought about David
As I ran, I thought about David. As a young orphan in Malawi, he would have had no chance at going to high school. But thanks to his sponsors and COTN, he's now in college.
 
I thought about Steven, a child I knew in Malawi who died of cerebral malaria several years ago. “Run another mile so another child can have a mosquito net,” I said. 
 
Finally, I thought about Woodmy, a 7-year-old boy in Haiti who preached like he was born to be a pastor. “Run another mile so Woodmy can have a full education and become a leader in Haiti,” I told myself. 
 
As I ran, I thought of Woodmy and how he can grow up to be a great preacher
I also thought of Woodmy and how he can grow up to be a great preacher in Haiti if he has the support he needs from his sponsors and from COTN. 
 
The last mile was incredibly emotional, as I thought of the scores of children COTN has been blessed to serve, and how they are now running the race for the kingdom of God.
 
My main goal is to raise $32 per mile—the cost for one month of sponsorship—for a grand total of $6,400 between now and September 30. I am challenging everyone I know to support my 200-mile goal: 
  • A nickel a mile = $10
  • A dime a mile = $20
  • A quarter a mile = $50
  • A buck a mile = $200
 
My second goal is to inspire others to do their own fun fitness activities for child sponsorship.
Runners, bikers, hula-hoopers, whoever. Email me your ideas and photos at daveschertzer@cotni.org, and make a difference in the life of a child!
 
I'll keep running for child sponsorship through September 30
I'll keep running for child sponsorship through September 30, with the goal of raising $32 per mile. Will you join me by pledging or starting a fun activity of your own? 
 
I will be adding weekly progress updates at the bottom of this page. I hope you join me in this fitness challenge. I’m already at 40 miles!
 
You can give to Dave’s 200-mile run for sponsorship via this page. Every gift will help reach COTN’s goal of finding sponsors for 750 children this summer.
 
You can also email Dave and drop off your donation at COTN’s office in Silverdale, Washington.