A few months ago, Cooper and I decided to sign up for our first marathon. It has been a long time dream for Cooper to complete a marathon as her passion for running has carried her through childhood and into her daily routine as an adult. It was a defining moment when we decided to turn our first big physical challenge together into a meaningful charitable cause. Her passion for running, along with my passion for health and fitness combined with our aspirations to contribute to those in need, created a small project called The Run Beyond Borders.
For our first ever marathon and our first cause, we chose to run for a very special foundation located in Manila’s largest open dump site. The Fairplay For All Foundation, founded by Naomi Tomlinson and Roy Moore, has been a crucial home to the street kids of Payatas. Due to Roy and Naomi’s dedication to a forgotten sector of society, their drop in center and football team has created a safe haven for kids in a hostile environment stricken with poverty, drugs and crime. With sponsored education initiatives and a thriving football development program, the Fairplay For All Foundation has managed to keep kids off the street and off the garbage trucks working endless hours, while offering nutritious meals, providing education and most of all supporting a childhood that the kids deserve.
Our goal for the run was to raise enough money to buy the Fairplay For All Foundation a vehicle used for transportation and a ticket out of the dump site. Cooper and I have been privileged enough to travel the world through our careers as an educator and as a footballer. The spirit of traveling is at the heart of our experiences and seeing different places and cultures have been great attributes to our own learning and development. We hope that by providing the foundation with a vehicle to see the outside world past the borders of Payatas, it will allow the children to dream bigger and be able to experience a vast world beyond their circumstances.
We hope that our run would be able to shed light on the great things happening in the most difficult places, and we hope that a small gift of mobility can contribute to the foundations structure of progress and provide more opportunities to the kids of Payatas.
This past weekend Cooper and I crossed the finish line for our Run Beyond Borders and completed our first marathon in the Laguna Phuket International Marathon. Although we managed to complete the physical challenge, we are still working hard to reach our fundraising challenge, and gain enough funds to get the Fairplay For All Foundation the vehicle they need.
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I want to thank everyone for their undying support!