March 1, 2013 by Cindy Changyit Levin from Morton Grove, IL
My family ran races at the 2013 Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon weekend to raise over $2000 for Shot@Life.
I'm proud of my 7 and 9-year-old kids who are little global health lobbyists and always willing to take actions that help other children. Last year, when I was running a charity 5K, my eldest wanted to run with me. I didn’t want to subject her to a winter morning run in Illinois, so I set up a webpage for her to raise money for running 2 miles around our local track when it was warmer. She excelled and showed me that she could be up to the longer race. Her jealous little sister even jumped into run a ½ mile just to show everyone she could. When I discovered the 2013 Princess Half Weekend involved kid races, I thought it could hold perfect events for each of us: a 400m, a 5K, and a half marathon.
We employed email appeals, facebook, and twitter to invite people to donate. We even made a youtube video, so the girls could explain why they personally chose to raise money for Shot@Life. We hoped to raise enough to protect 100 kids from deadly diseases. As we were nearing our goal at about 97 kids, one of my friends even offered to be an anonymous matching donor willing to match the next 5 children vaccinated ($100!) saying "I don't want you to just meet your goal, I want to exceed it." Thanks to his help, we raised enough to vaccinate 107 children to give them a shot at crossing whatever finish line they wish to.
We finished our races in fine style, wearing Disney running costumes and big smiles. I'm thankful to all our donors that not only helped us save lives, but also helped my two princesses become strong and compassionate athletes!