As some of you might know, given that I occasionally talk about it, I have spent most of my time this year volunteering in a community centre, the community mainly being refugees, in Athens.
What some of you will also know is that I am also very into watching Game of Thrones, so you won’t be surprised that when I was invited to a friend’s roof (not that weird in Athens) to watch the season finale, I said yes.
What surprised me though, was that I left the flat having agreed to run the Athens Marathon (only the original and apparently most difficult marathon route…) in November.
I had not intended, before walking into the GoT honey-trap, on ever running another marathon, but hey-ho, Winter is here, and at the time there was still time to train. It’s also an opportunity to say a bit more about, and ahem maybe ask for some money for, the amazing team I was working with at Khora Community Centre.
There is so much going on, for free, in and around the building, from legal support to meals to language classes to children’s activities, so there are hundreds of ways that any donation could be well spent. One thing that always stands out though in any similar setting in Athens is a lack of nappies/diapers.
Families and young children come in every day to the building (approx 600 people a day turn up for lunch), and something that is constantly on demand, and almost always all gone, is diapers. Giving one parent enough to keep their child dry and comfortable for a couple of days, means that when the next parents asks, there aren’t any left. At the same time, you can’t exactly ask a baby to try to hold it in enough to just use three until next time…
If anyone would be happy to donate when thinking of my miserably under-trained (but there’s still a month to go!?!) marathon, that money will go to a “nappy kittie” so that we can afford to buy nappies when we have run out of donations (which we do, for weeks at a time). This is only a small issue compared to the other insanities and tragedies out here, but I feel it is something that is easily achievable and will actually make a huge difference to parents who are already struggling with so many other things.
To avoid the fees of online fundraising platforms, I’ve set up a paypal account so that any money donated can go straight from me to Khora for free.
If you don’t have paypal, or if you don’t feel comfortable donating this way, but you would like to donate, then you can also donate directly to Khora using the link above and heading to the “donate” page of their website. This way will mean that your donation won’t be specifically allocated for nappies/diapers/pampers/whatever word you use, but would also be much appreciated by the Khora community. If you would like your money to go to the nappy-fund, then please message me if you’d like to talk more about it.
Athens Marathon- “The Authentic”- 12 November 2017
I have already paid for my place and will fund everything else like getting back to Athens, donations will only go to the nappy fund!
Still optimistic. I was much more optimistic when I signed up in August, but the Athens summer and the nature of volunteering conspired to limit my training somewhat. There was a little incident of crying on a tram halfway through a failed half-marathon (don’t worry, I bought a spinach pie before I got home). However, I did manage to fit in a few 10 and 15 km runs (however, these a clearly far short of the 42km mark…)
I’m back up to a half marathon this weekend (barring any disasters or coming to my senses) and hopefully 30km soon after…a month is loads of time!
For those of you near London: