Last Saturday I participated in the New York Run for Congo Women. The run was founded by a woman named Lisa Shannon:

“In 2005, Lisa Shannon changed her life when she heard Women for Women International Founder and CEO Zainab Salbi speak about the crises facing women in DR Congo in an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

In the past five years, Shannon has founded Run for Congo Women, a grassroots series of runs/walks taking place throughout the U.S. and Europe—the events have raised more than $700,000 for Women for Women International—and written a book, A Thousand Sisters, about her experiences visiting Women for Women International program participants in DR Congo.”

I too, saw that episode, and it had a profound impact on me. I have since joined Women for Women International as a sponsor for women in the DR Congo, exchanging letters with my “sisters” and hoping to make a difference in their lives through WFW’s efforts. I have taken part in the New York run every year since its inception (walking it the year I was pregnant with Noah), and it is a moving and deeply emotional morning.

I am so proud to play a very small part in the lives of women who have endured unspeakable horrors in their lives – crimes that I will never experience – and as I welcome in the new year with my family and friends this week I am especially grateful to live the life that I do.

Take a moment today to learn more about this amazing organization. Read about Lisa Shannon – a “regular” person, just like you and me, who changed her entire life (and read her book too – it’s an incredible story). Consider sponsoring a sister through WFW – their program is not one of charity but one of education and empowerment.

And be grateful.

Happy Friday.

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