The following letter was submitted by Run Across Ethiopia team member, Nigel Willerton.
From January 9 to 19, the Run Across Ethiopia Team ran 264 miles in 11 days, averaging 24 miles per day. We ran a marathon (26.2 miles) or longer on seven of the 11 days, reaching a total of almost 53 hours. As a result, I was able to raise almost $30,000, and the Run Across Ethiopia Team raised close to $200,000 for On The Ground to support the education of the children of Fair Trade farmers in Ethiopia. (Read more about the run here).
This money will be used to build and supply much-needed schools, and to give these children a better start with more opportunities. It was very emotional to see the foundations of the schools being built with your pledges.
On Day 9 we ran to the village of Hace Gola in the Ethiopian Highlands, where we were met by over 2,000 singing villagers in a stunning display of gratitude for their new school. This is what Run Across Ethiopia was all about–direct intervention to provide desperately needed schools and help break the cycle of poverty.
I am deeply moved by everyone's support, from the kids who donated their $5 weekly allowance, my friends and work colleagues who dug deep into their pay checks, to the generous businesses that donated four-figure sums. I am extremely proud to be associated with all of you. On The Ground will be able provide the resources to build three new schools in Ethiopia over the next few months because of that tremendous support.
However, though the run may have ended, the need for support hasn't. These schools will need equipment and supplies in the future. You can donate at any time to www.onthegroundglobal.org and I promise your money will go directly to the very best of causes. Alternatively, you can mail a check made out to "On the Ground" to: On the Ground, 806 Red Drive, Suite 150 · Traverse City, Michigan 49684.
Finally, please remember that purchasing products from genuinely socially responsible companies can mean fresh water, free health care, schools and electricity to those who would otherwise go without. In this information-rich world, it's not too difficult to find the good guys :-)
Thank you again,