I’m going to ask you to do something important. It’s not for me. It’s for a group of war refugees who have been through hell and need your help.
You may already know about my involvement with the AZ Lost Boys Center. But if you don’t know who the Lost Boys of Sudan are, they have an amazing and heartrending story. Forced to flee their villages during a brutal war, more than 20,000 young boys in south Sudan started walking. They journeyed over 1,000 miles, finally ending up in a refugee camp in Kenya. Many of the boys died during the journey, and those who lived now carry the memories.
Now young men, about 4,000 Lost Boys have been resettled to the U.S., with about 600 living in the Phoenix area.
When they arrive in our country, they are given just 3 months’ assistance by the government. They must learn so much: the language, how to get a job, how to pay bills. They want to go to school, to make a new life for themselves, but the obstacles are staggering, the emotional trauma unbelievable.
This is where the Lost Boys Center comes in. The Center provides assistance in employment, education and life skills, as well as a cultural support system. The Center exists solely on donations and desperately needs our help to continue operating.
What *you* can do
On February 14, I’ll be running the Lost Dutchman half marathon with the Lost Boys team. We want you to run or walk with us! Anyone can do this; there’s a marathon, half marathon, 10k, 8k, and 2-mile course. My husband John will be walking the 10k.
As part of the team, we ask that you to raise $100 by getting others to make donations. That’s just getting four friends to donate $25. Simple. Easy. You can do that.
To join the race team, download the registration form here. Mail it to the Center or just give it to me and I can turn it in for you.
If you can’t run with us, sponsor a runner here by making a donation online. Any amount helps!
Remember, this isn’t a distant problem in a faraway land. This is an opportunity to impact lives right here in Arizona. (If you don’t live in AZ, donate anyway!)
Need any more convincing?
Watch this 60 Minutes episode about the Lost Boys (click and scroll to the bottom of the page). It’s a great introduction to their story, their journey, and the continuing needs.
Photos are from the UN Refugee Agency. Check out more of their photos of the Lost Boys, along with captions that tell their story.