I love my dream of 50 in 50 by 50, but have wanted it be something a bit different for some time now. You see, there are a few things about it:
1. It is a dream that is going to take a lot of time, and moves pretty slowly.
2. It is a dream almost entirely about me. I say almost because I started the idea with a friend, and each race run is a chance to support some cause and join in a brief communal experience.
That said, I want to bank on the long-term nature of this dream of mine and make it about more than just me. I want to reach many more people through my running. I am lucky to have a dream. Too many people in the world have too many barriers (poverty, disease, oppression) to think about any dreams at all, let alone one so frivilous.
So I have decided it is time to run with a purpose... ("...so I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air..." 1 Corinthians 9:26)
50 in 50 by 50 is now also going to mean that 50 people, each living in 1 of 50 different countries, will have taken steps forward in their dreams by the time I am 50. At the very least.
I believe I can acheive that with the help of friends and an organization called Kiva. If you are unfamiliar with it, check it out here: http://www.kiva.org/
My ultimate goal is to meet the equivilant of 50 fully funded Kiva loans. On average, a loan through Kiva is $381.62. If you round up to $400 and multiply that by 50, you get $20,000. That might seem like a lot to fundraise, but not when you think that I have 19 years left on this journey. That is only a little over $1000/year or $400 per race (counting the ones I've already completed).
The plan is this: Kiva allows for lending groups, where multiple users fund loans and compile their efforts. For each race that I run, I will send out messages via this blog, email, and facebook, asking people to "sponser" me by putting money towards a Kiva loan and connecting it to this group. Due to the nature of giving on Kiva, we will most likely not actually fully fund a loan with each race, as people may be donating to different loans...but the hope is that the amount loaned overall will be the equivalent of doing so...and we will be reaching even MORE people this way!
The first step for YOU is to join the group. You can do that here: http://www.kiva.org/team/50_in_50_by_50
Then, start making loans! You can do that now, or wait for me to send out reminders when I head out for each race in the 50 in 50. If you want to budget, plan on my completing about 2-3 races per year. If you donate to each one, that will be only $50-$75 per year! And while you can use money from previous loans to fund new loans, my hope is that each race will trigger new money coming in so the impact will continue to multiply...you can loan anonymously, so don't worry about anyone knowing the amount you can give.
One more thing...when you make your loans, be sure to look out for countries yet to be sponsored by the team so we can reach the goal of at least 50 countries. Kiva has partnerships in 55 countries, so if we fund loans in all 55, even better!
I also believe this journey can help get the word out about Kiva and worldwide poverty. MY next step is to create a T-shirt design or other apparel that will publicize these efforts as I run each race. My hope is that in entering each new community, I will have the opportunity to share something new and make that much bigger of a difference in the world.
So...let's do it!