You know I’ve been talking a lot about the benefits of juicing lately here on the blog. Well, I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is…..actually I hope you’ll put your money….ok, that saying isn’t going to work. Suffice it to say I am going to do a 30 day juice fast during the month of September and also train for and run a 5 mile race on the 29th of September to raise money for Pencils of Promise to build a school in Guatemala.
How did this come about? Here’s the story—a blog I enjoy and have mentioned here before is Joel Runyon’s Blog of Impossible Things . Fed up with living an uninspired life, Joel decided to make a list of things he considered to be impossible, and then start doing them and writing about it. I love to read what Joel is up to, and I get very inspired by his stories…..but not to the point of taking much action.
A couple of weeks ago I read his latest post and couldn’t get it out of my head. The folks from Pencils of Promise contacted Joel to see if he would rally his community and start a campaign to raise $25,000, the cost to build one school. They have already built and maintained the progress of over 50 schools in Laos, Nicaragua, and Guatemala, and want to ramp up their efforts and build 50 more schools by the end of the year.
From Joel’s post:
“A few months ago, an organization called Pencils of Promise called me up. As the blog has grown, I’ve gotten approached by a ton of businesses trying to do “deals.” A lot of organizations, businesses, and entrepreneurs that want to do JVs/partnerships/affiliate deals that take advantage of the Impossible brand and I simply won’t do it. I’ve turned down 100% of those opportunities until PoP called.
I talked to Rachele and Erin and they explained to me that 67 million children in the world live without access to education. Something we all take for granted and complain that it’s mandatory for 16 years is something not even available to millions of kids around the globe. They don’t get the option to choose to push their limits, live an adventure, because for them, it’s impossible for them to get something as simple as an education. Pencils of Promise wants to change that.”
Also from Joel’s post regarding PoP’s Founding Principles:
“Pencils of Promise’s FOUNDING PRINCIPLES
1. If we don’t love what we do, then we are doing something wrong.
2. We must profoundly understand local cultures before we can hope to improve their educational opportunities.
3. Our most important partners are the communities themselves.
4. We build more than just four walls: we foster lasting and sustainable education.
5. Innovation, collaboration and creativity are at our core.
6. We are dedicated to the long-term sustainability of each project we support.
7. A nonprofit should operate with complete transparency and efficiency.
8. All donors should have the opportunity to choose where their money goes.
9. Every single contribution and contributor is a valuable part of the movement.
“The emphasis in the paragraphs above are mine. There are lots of organizations that simply throw money at problems and hope they go away without actually understanding them, but partnering with a community and developing change inside-out is what drew me to PoP – their focus on sustainability throughout each project. They “Get” It”
It really struck me what PoP is doing, the sustainability and integrity of it, and what Joel is doing. Later in the post he issues a challenge to his readers to help him raise the $25,000 for one school. There are several ways you can do this—by donating of course, or sponsoring an event….but the one I couldn’t stop thinking about was, “Create your own impossible challenge – not just something you think you might be able to do. Pick something that scares you, that pushes your limits – that you might fail at. Then go do it, tell people about it and contribute to the Impossible School fund.”
So, back to where I started. I have created my own impossible challenge—I will do a juice fast for the month of September and run a five mile race at the end of it. Doing the juice fast for me is very intimidating but something I have wanted to do (well, I have wanted to do a week, not a month). So I added in the running because that scares me. I haven’t run in about 20 years, and even then 5 miles was about all I could do. So what the hell, I’ll do it while juice fasting! I plan on documenting it all, and will give you great juicing tips, dos and don’ts (because I’m going to have to get kind of creative if I am going to just do juice for a month!). Of course I will share the great health benefits I experience from drinking all that juice, and any pitfalls I may encounter.
We are the lucky ones who have access to education that affords us a solid foundation to go out into the world. Every child deserves that foundation. Without a school and teachers, an education is impossible for these kids. I hope you will join me in this effort—please donate what you can so we can give 1000 children a chance to make a better life possible. Together we can build the next “impossible” school!
Here’s the page where you can learn more about Pencils of Promise, and make a donation if you are able. And don’t forget—if you feel inspired YOU can create your own impossible challenge!!
Thanks for your support!