My older bro, Dave, is running the Boston Marathon. He is an English as a Second Language teacher in Columbus, Ohio and teaches a lot of Somali refugees. He is also the assistant cross country coach at the high school. I'm going to publish parts of a letter he sent to me:
"Friends and Family,
Many of you are aware that I've been training my butt off trying to get ready for the Boston Marathon....I've been logging more miles than I ever have before (80 miles per week)....I'm hoping to run a 2:45 at Boston, but I also hope to do much more than just run a fast time.
As passionate as I am about my running, I am also passionate about the work I do with ESL students. Most of my students are Somali refugees. In the early 90s the government of Somalia was overthrown and a long and bloody civil war began. Many thousand Somalis fled to Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt and other neighboring countries which set up refugee camps. In the camps resources are scarce and education is unheard of....[My students] are incredibly eager to learn!
...I would love to coach some of my 'Somali Babies.' Several of them want to run cross country, but cannot afford the $100 pay to play fee. For that reason I am asking friends and family to support my Boston effort by sponsoring my effort to help Somali runners."
He goes on to say even five bucks would be appreciated, that donations are tax deductible, and that he and the school will send thank you cards and tax info to each contributor. Anyway, I'm glad my bro is excited about Boston and about his cause. If any of you would like to contribute, checks can be made out to Westerville North Athletic Boosters Cross Country (WNAB Cross Country) and sent to Dave Mars at 4170 Valley Quail Blvd S, Westerville, OH 43081.