This past April, all of you in splendid order contributed to a very memorable fundraising accomplishment. Your boisterous support of the JOGGLING Project instilled in me both the courage and clownishness to run, while juggling, the entire Paris Marathon. But more than this, your generous donations raised nearly $4,000 for Taliberte, a small grassroots NGO, improving the day-to "“day hardships of Senegal's street-children.
The funds were delivered to Senegal shortly after the marathon and were used earnestly to strengthen the services of Taliberte.
Your donations enabled Taliberte to purchase their first motor scooter"”an empowering resource in reaching more street-children in further flung neighborhoods but also serving as a mini-ambulance in the case of a medical emergency.
Taliberte was also able to purchase:
MOSQUITO NETS: Taliberte distributed a 100 mosquito nets for 5 groups of street-children"”greatly reducing their risk for contracting malaria
FOOD: Taliberte's walk-in center was able to provide 70 boys, two times a week, for three weeks the rare chance to enjoy an evening meal.
MEDICINE: Taliberte was able to refill their medical cabinet with first-aid supplies and antibiotics. The NGO treats a couple dozen street-children every week for skin infections and stomach parasites.
SHOES: Taliberte was able to purchase 50 pairs of shoes. The majority of street-children in Senegal walk miles each day, barefoot.
SHELTER: Taliberte was able to rebuild a cement structure to provide a group of street-children a new possibility for shelter.
On another related note, I'm delighted to report that sales from the K.I.S.S. Tote (Kindly Inspiring Sustainable Solutions) generated an additional $9,000 for Taliberte. If you're not familiar with the beautiful tote bags, they're repurposed from discarded rice-sacs and reflect the potential and creativity of Senegalese street children when they are given proper skill-training and encouragement!
In 2014, the team at Taliberte and I are determined to to grow the K.I.S.S. Tote as a social enterprise"”investing in more sewing machines and training programs for the street-children of Saint Louis, Senegal.
And lastly, although I am joggling regularly in Washington, DC, I haven't yet announced plans to "˜joggle' another marathon but I can assure you, the itch is slowly starting to itch!
Although this has been a cheerful report of our 2013 progress, it is also an opportunity for all of you to K.I.S.S. the season. Every little donation will continue to assist Taliberte to provide Senegalese street-children the basic necessities listed above, such as shoes and medicine.
I know I said we would decelerate the whizzing fundraising last week but we're waiting for the director of TALIBERTE to return to Senegal after his month-long educational training in the US! In the meantime, who is going to be so magnanimous as to bump us over 4,000 mark!!
This past Sunday, on a brisk morning in Paris, the last and final phase of the JOGGLING PROJECT was accomplished. Having gotten off to a groggy and slow start, I eventually covered the entire 42 Kilometers/26.2 mile distance in 4hrs exactly. With 50,000 participants, finding empty juggling space was a perpetual challenge and though I did not finish as fast I had hoped, I am happy to report, I dropped the balls only ten times.
Beyond question, what will always remain as the most impressive accomplishment, however, is how much $$$$ we've raised for TALIBERTE !! Truthfully, at times, our fundraising was ferocious! In the beginning, I had set the mark at $2,000, convinced that was going to be too ambitious.. Within the first two weeks, we had already ate that for lunch. Today, inching towards $4,000, we nearly DOUBLED our original goal! $4,000 frankly means a lot. The outreach center for street children in Senegal, with which we're supporting, will have an unprecedented opportunity to renovate and strengthen its resources. Please follow www.facebook.com/KissOnTheNeckIceCream in the next couple of months to see exactly how the funds are being used.
Next week, when I return to Gloucester to begin preparations for another season at KISS, I will terminate the GoFundMe portal and collect the money. With that said, we will be accepting donations for one more week! Help us tiptoe past $4,000!
The experience has been very heartening for me. I discovered first hand the preponderance of generosity out there and the immensity of social-media and crowd-funding to promote and rally around creative causes in ways never known before.
I will continue to support TALIBERTE through JOGGLING in the future but for this week, hobbling up and down the Paris underground, I'll be asking for my own support--from the hand railing
My heavens. Gracious donations are still trickling in! Less than a month before the marathon and I could not be more genuinely delighted by our rip-roaring progress! Let's keep the vigorous pace until the finish-line!
It has been brought to my attention some of you in America are experiencing difficulty watching the video due to a recent accusation of copy right infringement of the Edith Piaf Song. I am actively seeking answers myself and with a little luck, we'll have it back up and running shortly!
If I am guilty of infringement, allow me to steal the words of Mademoiselle Piaf once more by saying, I REGRET NOTHING!!
We all know running forward
demands a creative solution. Therefore, building upon KISS on the Neck's
commitment to improve the lives of Senegalese street children, I am delighted
to announce my newest fundraising challenge--one that is surely my most
ambitious and eccentric to date. On April 7th, with your support, I will JOGGLE
(running while juggling three balls) the Paris Marathon (26.2 miles) with a goal to finish
under 3 ½ hours. Although I have run marathons in the past, this will be the
first full marathon that I have JOGGLED, let alone, in the world's most beautiful
Please watch the short movie to see learn how your donation will
make a difference.