Updated April 4th:
Yesterday, April 3rd marked the 45th running of the Paris Marathon. Whilst I had every intent of participating, life had other plans for me. Between injury, illness, and exciting new personal challenges, Paris became a challenge I needed to put on hold in 2022. I'm sure you can appreciate the difficulty in making this decision. I'm not one to back down from a challenge and as Daddy V would say, 'Lily, you're too stubborn to ever give up".
I decided to take on Paris as a fun way to continue spreading awareness for Yayasan Usaha Mulia, YUM, an organization based in Indonesia who I am incredibly passionate about. Between their organic farm and community center, they truly seek out to improve the quality of life for Indonesians living in the most humble, remote areas of Java and Borneo.
This week, Global Giving is running its Little by Little campaign. The campaign matches smaller, but meaningful donations a 50% match from Monday, April 4th - Friday, April 8th. A $30 USD donation means YUM will receive $45, just enough to feed 1 elderly person 1 week's worth of food. The program match is upto $50 USD; $75 USD for YUM. There's no better time than now to have your generosity have a multiple effect.
At a time when a small act of kindness can mean a world of difference to someone struggling to meet their most basic needs, any donation will make an impact.
Thanks for your ongoing support! And if you're wondering, this isn't the last of my running shoes ...
On October 10, 2021, in 4 hours 26 minutes and 11 seconds, to my own disbelief, I successfully crossed the finish line of the Chicago Marathon. Hearing my family, friends, but especially Daddy V cheering for me along the route was more than a dream come true.
Whilst still feeling my runner's high, less than 5 days after completing Chicago, I opted to challenge myself once more and signed up to run the Paris Marathon. (upon reflection, maybe an impulse decision, the blisters on my feet hadn't even popped!)
As I get back into the groove of 5AM alarms, visits to the physio, and taste of SIS gels, I am reminded of and inspired by how my last run helped alleviate someone's stress about meals, healthcare, education, and/or employment. Running Chicago was very much about my bucket list but evolved into a humble effort to make this world a better place for others.
I met Yayasan Usaha Mulia, YUM, in February 2016, shortly after moving to Jakarta. I instantly connected with their mission of improving the lives of Indonesians in some of the poorest and most remote areas of Java and Borneo. Their centers are essential community hubs that provide vocational skills, health education, agriculture training, and food staples to the vulnerable.
I've seen firsthand the pitfalls of low funding and the criticality of financial support from donors. Even more so today, as the world struggles to normalize post the global pandemic, YUM's programs are that much more vital but at risk.
No contribution is too small and 100% of the funds go towards continuing these critical programs. Endless thanks for your generosity and words of encouragement as I tie up my laces once more.