[Nfbc-info] Team LightHouse Half Marathon blog post

Serena Olsen olsen.serena at gmail.com
Wed Dec 15 02:52:05 UTC 2010

Hello fellow California Federationists,

Some of you may know that I am running in the Team LightHouse Half
Marathon and perhaps some of you read the blog I wrote about this
experience on the LightHouse website.  I have written a follow up
blog, which I have pasted below my signature, for your reading

Some of you may also know that I have also pledged to raise $1300 for
Enchanted Hills Camp, a summer program of the LightHouse, as part of
this marathon experience.

Please read and enjoy my blogs and please visit my donation page and
show your support of empowering blind youth by making a donation.
Here are the links:
Secure online donation page: http://active.com/donate/teamlighthouse/SerenaOlsen
The first LightHouse blog: http://www.lighthouse-sf.org/blog/last-one-picked/
Blog #2 is pasted below my signature...

With deepest gratitude for your support,

Serena Olsen, MAIPS

Serena Puts on Her Ira Glass Hat: This Blind American Life

Act One: And on Sunday, She Rested
 Ok, so my days of "rest" are actually Fridays and Sundays.  I have
discovered, however, that "rest," in this context, is not the verb
meaning "take it easy; relax," but rather more like a noun--as in,
"this is the only time you have to get the REST of that shit done that
you never get to because you are too busy working and training.

Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, I get in anywhere from 2-4 miles
of running a day currently--this distance is creeping upward as the
Big Day draws near.  Mondays and Wednesdays are for that all-important
cross-training--I have selected yoga and get in 20-90 minutes on each
of these two days.  Fridays and Sundays, of course, are for the "rest"
of my life.

This, on top of my split job personalities--commuting alternately into
the East Bay, then the City, the East Bay, then the City...and so on,
some days hitting both of them in the same day, and often being out
after a full work day for some work-related evening event.  Then comes
the training, packed in with even my social events, like hosting my
roommate's baby shower for 30 last weekend, then running four miles
after the guests departed.  Yesterday, I woke early and got in my
three mile run, so that I could catch Flowers of the Four Seasons
(closing today) at the Berkeley Art Museum, then go straight to a work
holiday party.  But the training is important and I am sticking to it!

Act Two: Let's Get This Party Started!
The LightHouse Half Marathon is more than just a personal goal for me
to conquer something new and get in great shape in the process--I am
also doing this to benefit the San Francisco LightHouse for the Blind
and Visually Impaired.  I do this because it is important to me to
make as many people aware as possible how important the services of
agencies like the LightHouse are to the blind and how vital your
financial contribution is to its programs.  I could easily just be
running the half marathon for my own purposes, but have pledged,
instead, to also raise $100 for every mile I run.  A hundred bucks.
Thirteen miles.  A summer of memories and empowerment for Enchanted
Hills Campers: http://www.lighthouse-sf.org/services/edrec/ehc/

And then I visit my Active.com donation page
(http://active.com/donate/teamlighthouse/SerenaOlsen).  After years of
college and finally getting the blindness skills training I always
needed to succeed and going to work--working a full week and then
some, like the self-reliant, independent, responsible adult that I am,
then putting in a lot of hard training in addition for a great program
that will give other blind youth the same opportunity for success in
life, what do I find on my pledge page after weeks of hinting and
asking for those vitally needed donations?

3% of my goal.  Three percent.  $35.
Thanks, by the way, to the two brave donors and their attempt to get
my fundraising ball rolling.  That leaves a huge gap, folks.  97% of
my goal remains unreached and this is a bridge that we can cross if
you donated, even in the smallest amount.

Act Three: The Big Picture
Here's why this is not just important to me and the ranks of blind
Americans--here's why this is important to you: your tax dollars.
There are about a million blind people in America.  Some 70% of
working-age blind people do not work.  A great number of these people
eke out a sub-poverty existence on the rolls of Supplemental Security
Income and a variety of other government programs like SSDI, programs
of the Housing Authority, energy assistance programs, and the list
goes on.  For me, these programs were a springboard to a higher
standard of living--they enabled me to get the education and training
I needed to make a better life for myself and I no longer even qualify
for many of them.  Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, many blind
people believe that this life of dependence on government programs is
their only option.
When blind youth connect with competent blind peers and mentors and
get the skills training and opportunity they need, their chances for
living a successful, independent life skyrocket.

Blind people with skills and confidence go to work.
People who work do not qualify for welfare programs.
People who work are tax payers, not a drain on the nation's tax revenues.

Join me now in proactively supporting the programs of the SF
LightHouse that help blind youth develop the skills and confidence
they need to be productive tax-payers...or pay later in your
hard-earned tax dollars to support the continued dependency &
disempowerment of blind adults living a life on government cheese.

I know a better life is possible, because I am living it.  $100 a
mile.  Thirteen miles.  How far can you help me get?  How far will
America's blind youth get?

Donate here: http://active.com/donate/teamlighthouse/SerenaOlsen

It will only take thirteen of you sponsoring a mile each to help me
reach this goal.
If a hundred of you came up with $13 each, I'd be there.
$50 takes me a half mile.  $25 a quarter-mile.
$650 is half of the Half Marathon.
Or maybe you can take me the entire distance and sponsor my entire run
for $1300?

Whatever the amount, it's a tax-deductable donation, of course.

Don't make me do something crazy like shave my head if you help me
reach this goal by the second fundraising deadline of January 10th,
'cause you know I'd do it.

Once again, that secure donation page can be found at:

Dig deep.  Cyber technology is standing by to take your donation, or
you can mail a check (payable to the LightHouse for the Blind &
Visually Impaired of San Francisco) to me at:
Serena Olsen
34904 Herringbone Court
Union City, CA 94587

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