Thursday, March 3, 2011
Imagine having the chance to compete in the 2011 Special Olympics in Athens Greece this summer. Imagine having to raise the money yourself to get there when you live in poverty. Now imagine that you have the mental capacity of a three year old and you live in a packed squatters community, next to a cemetery, in the poorest area in the Philippines where people struggle just to eat one meal a day.
Emilda's story could have been a disaster awaiting its end early in her life, but she was blessed to live where Compassion International came to the rescue. Emilda and her family not only have to battle her mental situation, but the dire and extreme poverty. But as a Compassion International child thing's have changed. She is sponsored by a family to attend a Compassion Child Developement Project in the Philippines where she receives therapy, food, acceptance, love, and even the expenses to compete in local and church competitions.
18 year old Emilda overcame her situation once through competing in those local games to make it to the 12th Annual Philippine Special Olympics in 2009 winning several gold, silver, and bronze medals in Track and Field competitions that qualify her for the games in Greece.
Emilda is not only running for medals, she is running for hope. And not just her own. When someone in that poor squatters community see her succeed they find their own hope. Hope for more than what they witness around them each day in surviving on eating from what they can find in the town dump or occasional days work that will earn them less than a dollar.
But Emilda is witnessing another miracle coming true. She needs almost $20,000 for travel to get her to Athens, hotel stays, food, equipment/uniforms, passport/visa and care while there. That will also cover her mother and her Compassion Project Director to travel with her to both keep her safe and to cheer her on. There is only a little over $7,000 still needed for Emilda to be able to make the games to compete for ultimate gold again. If you would like to be a part of helping her chance of a lifetime dream come true, and provide hope to all who will witness what sacrificial love can do, then give to Emilda's Run for Gold now at http://donate.compassion.com/special-olympics-athens/