Happy Thanksgiving!

Almost Happy Thanksgiving everyone! One more week until it's time to spend some quality time with the family and friends. Today, also marks two weeks before the run for porridge begins! The runners and I are getting very excited.

Help us reach our goal here

!

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Since the last post, many people have stepped up and have helped us out planning the events. I am happy to announce that thanks to

SLO Benefit

, we will now be having a launch party, the night before the run begins on Wednesday, November 28th. Visit their

Facebook page

for the details!

The celebration party in San Francisco is now fully planned out and happening. The party is being put on through

Cocktails For Africa

. Check out the

page

, and we would love to see you there!

There has been a lot of preparation as well for the run. I will not bore you with all of the details but the final marathon will take us across the golden gate bridge where we will finish as the sun rises on the morning of December 1st.

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Many of the runner on the Arroyo Grande Hotshots

Our goal is slowly but surely getting there. Our goal is to raise $10,000 dollars for the porridge efforts at the Muhumurize Catch-Up School. Meeting this goal will entitle us to the maximum amount of matched donations. The matching donation will be sent to Ubaka U Rwanda for their efforts to build a purpose built center for the street kids they house in Rwanda.

Currently we have raised a little below $1,000 dollars. Considering that the event has yet to begin, I am very grateful for this amount. While it is difficult to calculate the exact amount of money it takes to buy a cup of porridge because of many variables, a general estimate tells us that the money raised thus far has earned the children upwards of 10,000 cups of porridge!

We still have a long way to go though and we are more motivated than ever. I ask that you might remember these children this Thanksgiving. I am truly thankful for the life that I have and I'm thankful to be in a position where I can share that with others who are just as deserving.

Join me this Thanksgiving by helping them out

. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Please take a moment to learn about a few kids we are trying to help.

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This is Claude. Claude has 4 siblings. He lives a stones throw from the school in an extremely small and half finished house. For a time, I would see Claude in the neighborhood but not at school. His older brother Yves who is very intelligent and works hard brought me to his home one day and I saw the desperation. I realized that I had seen Claude and his family all over the neighborhood of the school for a very long time. Claude does not know his father. His mother works all day, every day, farming in the fields. She always looks tired when I see her, but she still saves a smile anyways. Claude's sister actually had been supported previously in school by World Vision. Sadly World Vision could not continue any longer because of lack of funds. Fortunately, Claude and his sister were able to join our school quickly because it is free to the students. A free school, joined with a guaranteed cup of porridge has made school a reality to Claude and his family, as well as giving a lighter load to their hard working mother. We also give a cup each to the two smaller brothers who desperately need it as well. Even though they are not students at the school, we hope you will forgive us for that.

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This is Teacher Emmanuel and Bonheri. Emmanuel is in his early twenties. The headmaster of the school took Emmanuel in during the 1994 genocide after Emmanuel's family was murdered. Since I have known Emmanuel, he hasn't expressed his pain over his past, but his hope for the future. He expresses his hope when he is with the children. He has been working very hard with Bonheri. Bonheri's past is very foggy because he is so young and has never had anything permanent. What we do know is that, a policeman saw him on the street one day and decided to bring him to us. We are grateful for that because Bonheri quickly became everyone's favorite at the school. He has been known to say many funny and sweet things to the teachers such as "Teacher, I know that I am not smart yet, but please, continue to teach me like you do, and I will learn one day because you are so smart!" We also like to throw Bonheri into the older boys' soccer games because it makes him feel good, and makes every spectator laugh....alot. We are always doing our best to feed Bonheri, so the introduction of porridge has made this a lighter load for us.

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This is Clemence. Clemence has a beautiful smile but sadly it is not easy to see it all the time. As with the kids above, and the much of the rest of the school, these kids have been through their share of troubles and that is an understatement. On any given day, a student that was laughing uncontrollably during the morning, may be extremely serious in the afternoon with seemingly no explanation. This picture was taken during a bad moment for Clemence. Clemence has been on and off the street for most of her life. Her father ran away when she was young, and her mother has had many boyfriends and short lived husbands since. If Clemence is on the street, it is most likely due to the fact that the new man in her mother's life is beating and/or molesting her. Recently her mother did not know of the issues that were occurring in the home, and when Clemence finally told her mother the situation, her mother was angry and disbelieving because she had taken so long to tell her. Sadly, Clemence and many of the childrens' problems run deeper than a cup of porridge. But if we want Clemence to be able to deal with these problems and continue her education, a simple thing like a cup of porridge at school will help her make the right decisions and steer her away from despair.

Please help us reach our goal to help these children and many more.