Saturday, June 11, 2011

Good Bye

Well, not good bye forever. Peak 4 Poverty & Run 4 Red Ribbon will continue to have a special place in my heart until it stops beating. I cannot believe this year is over already. 365 days - 1,004 miles! It seems like so much, but now it seems to have just flown by.

My final run was a lot different than my first one. If you remember, I set out to the gym at Offutt AFB, NE because of the thunderstorm I wasn’t able to run outside. So my goal for the first run was to run 4.4 miles. I had just hit 3.9 miles on the treadmill when the sirens started blaring and the nice Air Force Services folks started rounding everyone up to go into the locker rooms (the locker rooms were the most secure area of the gym, made up mostly of concrete.) So I had to jump off the treadmill, rush into the steamiest, most humid room I’ve ever set foot in---which was not comfortable since I was hot & sweaty from running 3.9 miles! I had to sit on the floor and wait out the storm, hoping it would pass soon so I could hop back on the treadmill and finish out my first run.

My first run wasn’t the best, but I got it done and was happy to start this long journey. I remember feeling like I had such a long road ahead of me. I guess in a way I did, but reflecting back on this year, it feels like time flew by too quickly.

My final run was on my own (no jogging stroller) out on the beaches in Monterey, CA where my family and I moved to during the autumn. I ran with no music in my ears so I could use the quiet time to think of what this year has meant to me.

It has meant a lot to me. I wish there was a better, more poetic way to say it, but it has. It all started with a simple twitter exchange about Mt. Kilimanjaro with @peak4poverty and after months of this great charity always in my thoughts I finally came up with a simple idea on how I could have some small part in helping these children who OH SO DESERVE any and all help they can get.

My mission wasn’t just to run 1,004 miles, but to use my running to gain some attention and shine a light on these children. I wanted to raise funds and awareness.

“You give a man a fish, he eats for a day. You teach a man to fish, he eats for life.”

This saying is the perfect way to describe Peak 4 Poverty. Yes, they could use all of the funds to provide more and better meals as well as clothing and other daily essentials, but a lot of it goes towards tuition. These orphaned children are given an education and a chance to build a better life for themselves. Their society has given up on them and it is the kindness of strangers that gives them hope.

The people who donate to Peak 4 Poverty make it possible for these children to learn a trade. They receive an education so that when they reach adulthood they aren’t thrust out of the orphanage with no way to make a living or take care of themselves. This way they are able to earn wages, get proper medical care, and give back to the next generation of AIDS orphans who need an education just like they did. If this great cycle continues, eventually poverty will be stomped out completely. No human being should go without nutrition or healthcare just because they weren’t given the opportunity to learn how to take care of themselves.

So just know, those of you who donated, as well as those of you who plan on donating in the future--or you know, now over on the right hand side of the blog--your dollars are hard at working helping make the future bright for children who otherwise may not have had a fighting chance. For your kindness, I offer my sincerest appreciation. You are all heroes.

I look forward to seeing how far Run 4 Red Ribbon goes. In just this past year we’ve had at least 9 participants running races or certain distances in a given time to raise awareness and funds for Peak 4 Poverty. It’s been amazing to watch my little idea blossom into something so big and awe inspiring.

Again, I just want to say thank you. I’ve given my blood, sweat, and tears and put up with some evil shins, but it’s all been worth it. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my friends and family, and the kindness of strangers.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Warmest regards,

Jenna Chastain

Monday, February 28, 2011

Raising Awareness

So we are 9 months into my year-long run. I can't believe we have made it this far! I'm excited by how many others have involved themselves in R4R. With the help of others we have been able to raise funds and awareness. Seven people have been involved with Run 4 Red Ribbon, and together we have ran over roughly 1,000

miles. Collectively with all Peak 4 Poverty efforts we have been able to put 60+ children through school this year.

My personal fundraising goal was quite large, but I wanted to at least raise $1 for every mile. As you can see, I am far from that goal. Still, I put in my miles week in and week out. I’ve been behind schedule, as well

as ahead of schedule. It’s been a bumpy road, and I still have a few months and about 257 miles to go! It seems so far, but I’ve run close to 750 miles now!

I recently had an online chat wih Nabeel from Peak 4 Poverty. He’s been a big supporter and he reminded me of why I am doing this. It’s important to raise awareness right now. Me running and blogging about these orphans is reminding people that they are out there. Every day these children are out there working hard and fighting for an education so that they can one day provide for themselves and their future families. Nabeel reminded me that we need to raise awareness first and the funds will eventually come.

So far I have done a horrible job of getting awareness out. I haven’t blogged nearly as much as I should have, and I need to be more vocal on facebook and twitter. I need to get the word out. I can run as much as I can, but without the blogging how are people going to even know what I’m doing? I only have a few months left, and in that time I plan on being more active online. I want you to know what I’m doing, and why exactly I’m doing it.

I’m running for these children. I’m running for their education. I’m running for their quality of life.

They need your help.

*I'd like to thank the Peak 4 Poverty team, who traveled to Tanzania this winter to visit the children and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds and awareness for these children for the pictures that I used for this post. I appreciate all of your hard work and support.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

The Peak 4 Poverty team is currently in Tanzania volunteering at the orphanages and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds and awareness for the orphans these orphans.

Just looking at those beautiful faces makes me want to work harder to help them. I can't do that without you. I beg you to find it in your heart to donate to this cause.
The money we raise through Peak 4 Poverty and Run 4 Red Ribbon goes to providing a better life for these children here in the picture. We help provide food and clothes to make their daily lives better, and provide tuition so that these children can get an education and lead productive lives. We are giving them a chance. A chance to have a full, happy life.
If we don't help them, who will?

The number of children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS is expected to reach 25 million; of that 15.6 million live in Sub Sahara Africa.

These orphans are often subject to discrimination so they often don't receive proper healthcare, education, and other services needed to live a healthy life. These orphans are innocents who have had no say in the position they're in and rely on the help of strangers.
Please find it in your heart to donate any amount you can afford. $5, $10, or anything. You can find a link on the right side of my blog where you can chose which amount to give.

I have 3 more ornaments left if you are interested in them. I have 3 Twilight ornaments left. Get one for a $10 donation or three for a $20 donation.
I also have one more care package left for a $50 donation. I'll send out all kinds of yummy goodies for you to share with your families, friends, and/or co-workers.

I hope you all have a happy holiday with your families and friends, as well as a fun and safe New Year.
Thanks, Jenna

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pride and Prejudice Ornaments

Are you a Jane Austen fan? Do you have a friend or family member who is? Any tree of a Pride and Prejudice fan will not be complete unless they have one or three of these ornaments! Made from the pages of Jane Austen's most celebrated novel, these ornaments are the perfect present for any Jane Austen fan. Donate $10 for 1 ornament or $20 for 3 ornaments. Just donate and then Email me to give me your address and your preference of ornament. Go through the pictures below and let me know which one(s) you would like to receive. Thanks!

I have 2 Red Flowers on Spherical ornaments available:

I have 1 green butterfly on a spherical ornament available:

I have 1 round ornament with a silver flower and 3 pearls available:

I have 2 heart ornaments with 1 green flower and 3 pearls available:

I have one heart ornament with a red flower available:

I have 3 round ornaments with 2 green flowers available:

I have 3 round ornaments with 2 white flowers available:

I have 1 round ornament with 2 silver flowers available:

I also still have 6 of the Twilight ornaments left, same deal with those, just let me know which you prefer! Thanks =)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Donate and Get Something In Return!

Well, as you can see in my earlier post, if you donate $10 you get 1 Twilight or Pride and Prejudice ornament, if you donate $20 you will get 3 ornaments.

If you donate $50 I will send a few batches of homemade cookies (or another baked good.) I am quite the baker. I make really cute sugar cookies in all different shapes with homemade royal frosting decorations. I also make a mean oatmeal M&M cookie. I'm only doing this for the first two donors that donate at least $50. I can send them out right after you make the donation or I can send them out right before the holiday so you can serve them at a party! Just make the donation and email me your mailing address and when you would like the cookies by!


Dear Twilight Lovers,

I make these adorable ornaments out of book pages, and I am currently making Twilight ones! If you make a $10 donation and I will send you one! If you donate $20 I will send you THREE ornaments!

If you are a Twilight fan your Christmas tree will not be complete unless you have at least one of these on it, and if you're not a Twilight fan, but know someone who is, then these will make excellent gifts! You can get your Christmas shopping done and help out AIDS orphans at the same time!

I can put a green flower with a pearl center if you don't like the red one, but I think the red goes great with the Twilight theme. I can also do heart shaped ornaments or flat, round ones as well. If you're not a fan of Twilight or you know someone who is a Jane Austen fan I also have Pride and Prejudice ornaments! Just let me know if you'd like something different than the one pictured.

Just make your donation and Email your mailing address to

Thanks, Jenna

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

400 MILES!!!!!!!!!!!

I reached 400 miles the other day! I started running June 1st and have reached a big milestone! I'm SO close to the halfway point! So. So. Close. I can almost taste it. I've been keeping on track with my running as best as I can, but as you can see the donations amount isn't up to par. I'm no where near my goal. Well, it's not really MY goal. It's these kids' goal. They are the ones that need to clothes, food, medical supplies, and education. They need all of this, and they don't have parents to help them. They rely on the kindness of strangers like you to provide basic essentials.

Every human being in the world has the right to an education. The right to learn. That is what I'm trying to accomplish. Who else is going to help these kids if you don't? Please, please find it in your hearts to donate $10 to my cause. If you head over to my other blog you can find a place to donate. It would mean the WORLD to me, and it would mean even more to these children. Show them there is some good in this world.

Thank you.