So… I had hoped to raise $200. As of right now, I’m at $765. Here’s a thing: THE ENTIRE EVENT HAS ONLY RAISED $1,785. That means 42% of the fundraising to date for the Portland Run for Congo was you guys. I am blown away by that. Thank you all. I hope you’re as proud of you as I am.
I heard a story on NPR that left me shattered. It spoke of a study, published yesterday in the American Journal of Public Health, suggesting that more than 1,100 Congolese women are raped every day. That’s apparently twenty-six times higher than previous already-horrifying estimates. I couldn’t wrap my brain around that kind of figure. I thought certainly I’d misheard, misunderstood, so I went to The World’s website to check. No… apparently not.
I’m often left feeling impotent by the news. I mean, these women are a world away from me. What can I do? I suffer from the same chronic deficiencies of time and money as just about everyone else I know. But I haven’t been able to shake that number from my mind. 1,100. Every day.
So I did a little more poking around on the internet and as it happens, there’s a WomenforWomen.org 5k run/walk on July 23rd. So… I signed up. I’ve set a very modest goal–this is a tough economy and April was especially brutal this year, but I’m hoping with your help to raise a mere $200 for Women for Women. It’s not much, but it’s something. And I’m kind of slow, but I’m starting to really understand how somethings add up. There is power in somethings.
Women for Women International provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies. We’re changing the world one woman at a time.
Run for Congo Women is a global run/walk event series benefiting Women for Women International’s programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
You can hand your old comics out at Halloween (which, unless you have a huge collection of Scrooge McDuck’s, I do not recommend), donate them to your local library, put them in the recycling bin, leave them at a barber shop or use them for kindling (we’ve done that and honestly, for a few of those comics it was no better than they deserved). One of the most satisfying options, however, is to send them off to American troops fighting overseas.
Andy Khouri and Mark Sable asked me on Twitter yesterday to remind them how you go about doing that. Good news: it’s pretty easy. You’re going to be out the price of postage, but it’s worth it.
Leaving everything else blank, put either COMICS or COMIC BOOKS into the REQUESTS AND EMAIL CONTENTS field. (As I write this, COMICS returns 8 units requesting comics–7 Army, 1 Air Force; 5 in Iraq, 1 in Qatar, 1 in Afghanistan and 1 in the Philippines.)
Click on one of the soldiers names and read their email, making sure what they want is actually what you’ve got. Often they’re specific — they want funny comics, or newspaper comics, or Marvel comics, or they may even request a particular hero.
Once you find someone who either wants what you’ve got or is just generally requesting comics, click where it says CLICK HERE TO REQUEST THE COMPLETE ADDRESS.
Now, it’s been a while since I’ve done this and I can’t proceed any further right now because I don’t actually have any comics to send, but if I recall correctly, you fill out a short form and then you’re emailed the soldier’s address. I believe you can request up to 2 addresses per day. (While you’re at it, you might look at what else your soldier is requesting–sometimes it’s something as simple as cotton swabs. Surely you can throw a package of q-tips in the box.)
The postage fees you pay to an APO or FPO address are NOT international shipping rates. You pay domestic rates, so while you are picking up a bill, it’s pretty small considering the effect. And it’s worth mentioning that our local UPS store in KC used to pack up any donations for troops overseas for free. They’ve since changed ownership and we’ve since moved, so I have no idea if that’s common practice or not, but it’s certainly worth asking.