Friday, August 16, 2013

Running2Reunite Video Update

Hi, me again. I made this little video (< 2mins) last evening after my last training run before the "race" tomorrow morning at 6:45 (really just a "run" for me since I am not trying to win anything except your support ;-)

I wanted to be sure that you know that through this run I am currently raising money to reunite TWO families in the next month. The first is the family from Sudan that was recently on the local news as a generous woman from Salt Lake City has worked very hard to get half of the family members home just last week. When I learned that there were 4 more members still stuck in Uganda awaiting plane tickets I had to jump in and make up the difference so they could be reunited after 5 long years! You can watch their story here.

Later the same day I committed to help this family above I was contacted by my long-time African brother, Joachim Fayani, about another family in very difficult circumstances. The wife/mother has been in California for a couple of years since fleeing Eastern Africa for her courageous efforts to advocate for the rights of girls and women in her country. She literally fled for her life and is safe here in America now but her family remains at risk. We have to get them reunited ASAP.

I am running tomorrow in the Park City Half Marathon to represent these good families who will continue to be separated unless those who CAN help DO help.

Please visit to support these families.

Thank you!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Running 2 Reunite

This time of year is when I push myself to do something hard, and sometimes painful, by running a half marathon to raise money for the families we help at Bridges To America.

Despite only being able to train for the last two months after hernia repair surgery in May I am going for it this Saturday at the Park City Half Marathon. (Did I mention we moved to Park City in April? Well, we did and we love it!)

My "Build Bridges" shoes
I am calling my effort Running2Reunite and the goal is to raise $3,000 to buy one-way plane tickets for a father, son, and two daughters from Sudan currently stuck in Uganda and separated from the mother and daughter, who have legally been in the USA for the past five years so that the daughter could undergo multiple surgeries (ongoing) to repair a severe cleft palate.

I came across their story here this past weekend and am delighted to tell you that yesterday I spoke with the wonderful woman who has helped this family so far and I committed Bridges To America to provide the remaining $3,000 necessary to cover the airfare and end this family's long separation once and for all.

The point of this run Saturday is to earn your support and donations so that I can make good on my commitment. In my work with Africa I have learned that nearly everything there is hard and there is so much pain and suffering that could be alleviated with such little action on our part. So, running 13.1 miles is my way of sharing a little pain (hopefully not too much suffering!) with the African people we help today and those we hope to help soon. We can only do this with your support.

I will not be setting any personal bests at this race (recent surgery and PC altitude) but I hope you will set a personal best by donating as much as you can to help us get this family back together. I will be thinking of this family and their certain joy as they see each other soon for the first time in five long years. That way I can fight through the pain and smile on Saturday. I hope you will join me.

Click here to donate and click here to share. Please do at least one!

Thank you!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Next Project: Save-A-Thon For Africa 2014

While I am not ready to announce all of the details quite yet I can tell you that there will be a Save-A-Thon For Africa 2014! We will be going back to Africa to deliver much needed aid to hundreds of needy kids there around May or June 2014.

The big change this time will be that we are expanding the mission to include 10-15 young women from the USA who want to join us to learn valuable leadership skills while serving others.

Stay tuned here for more information in the coming days. If you are unfamiliar with Save-A-Thon For Africa click here to see what we did in 2012.

Can't wait to expand our mission and all the good we can do with the help of others and YOU!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fundraiser This Week

We have a big opportunity this week to raise much-needed funds to kick-off our plans for 2013.  If you live anywhere near Cache Valley in Northern Utah and plan to eat this week (;-), please consider going to one of my favorite places, Pizza Pie Cafe.

If you don't live near here, or can't otherwise make it, would you please spread the word by sending your Northern Utah friends and family to our Facebook Page?  While you are there please "LIKE" us.

IMPORTANT: We don't get credit unless guests bring in the form below.  Please print it out and take it with you.  Thanks a lot!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


I was going through past photos today to select my favorites for the new website we are creating and I came across this one and had to share.

I took this shot on the shores of Lake Volta in March 2012. I am guessing this boy is about 8 years old.  It was early in the morning and already "Africa" hot.

This water is filthy.  If you look behind him you can see trash on the beach and just outside the shot is a large, rusted ferry boat getting ready to take travelers across this gigantic lake.  I saw people bathing in this water, cleaning motorbikes, going to the bathroom, etc.  To think that someone, a little kid no less, has no choice but to drink this bacteria-ridden water is really appalling.

In my work with Bridges To America in Africa I have come to realize that the root cause of problems that exist in poor countries (poverty, disease, education, etc.) is a lack of clean water and food.

That is why I am so glad to be working with the great team at People Water. These guys aren't just cool, they have big hearts and a big vision to change the world by solving one of our most basic problems: clean water.

With their Drop For Drop mission every bottle they sell People Water gives an equal amount of clean water to a person in need.

We will be selling People Water at our fundraiser at Pizza Pie Cafe this Monday through Thursday (Feb 25th-28th) for $2.00/bottle.  By purchasing a bottle you can do three things at once: quench your thirst, help a person without clean drinking water, and support us in our mission of reuniting African families and teaching children everywhere to live a life worthy of their best dreams.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Here we go!

We are so excited to announce that we are off and running in 2013!  Under the leadership of the Student Council and thanks to the students, parents, faculty, and administration of Edith Bowen Lab School, a charter school located on the campus of Utah State University in Logan Utah, we are doing our first fundraiser of 2013.

We have big plans to have a breakout year in 2013 and help more people than we did last year and that means we need money to do that.  We have one family we are working with that has been separated for over 20 years.  The mother lives in Boston and her three children attend school in the US.  She has two older daughters that have lived in the West African country of Liberia ever since a civil war broke out that unexpectedly separated them long ago.  Their case is complex and will require lots of funds and time but we are dedicated to not stop until they are reunited.  We need your help.

Edith Bowen has arranged a great fundraiser from February 25th - 28th at Pizza Pie Cafe in Logan.  PPC will donate 25% of sales during this period to Bridges To America.  I have been to PPC many times including two soccer parties and I LOVE this place!  It is great fun, delicious food, and good people.

Additionally, my daughters, Marissa and Kylie, will be joining me this week at Edith Bowen to make presentations about our trip to Ghana this past December and to help the kids there better understand what we do and how they can also make a difference in the world.

We look forward to this great start to 2013 and appreciate your support!