It’s the middle of September in Atlanta, and you’re watching more than 3000 people running shoulder to shoulder on a long winding road. Everyone is wearing a running bib indicating their number and their commitment to the cause.
You’re on the sidelines as a volunteer to assist in whatever anyone might need. You have a few route maps in hand and you’re standing next to the water station. There are children wearing raincoats putting up their popcorn stalls, and women you’ll see again later who will break into a flash mob dance to loud music once they’re done running.
The sea of people is moving along with no worry of the early morning drizzle that’s making it difficult to see the road ahead. Even as the course is surrounded by creeks, buildings, and beautiful green spaces, there’s a determined look of focus in everyone’s eyes.
That’s because, each one of them, including the onlookers, has one goal in mind. When they are done treading this road, it will open up a path for better education, healthcare and living conditions for 30,000 children in the US and in India.
This can only be a dream, right? Actually, it is not. It’s the 25th anniversary of the Dream Mile event, an annual fundraiser for promoting change and grassroots ideas that bring education, healthcare and social betterment to underprivileged children, by Vibha.
Vibha which means brightness, is shining a bright light on all the global impact it can make with the help of organizers, sponsors, participants, volunteers and onlookers. Vibha has big goals for humanity. It’s 10-year goal is to improve public education for 10 million underprivileged children in India and US.
In fact, it’s turning heads as it runs towards its goal. On behalf of the state of Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp has congratulated Vibha on the 25th anniversary of this Dream Mile event. US senator Jon Ossoff has expressed gratitude for Vibha’s commitment to child empowerment from starting at Georgia Tech in 1988 and now to expanding in 20 cities across US.
The Georgia House of Representatives passed a House Resolution commending Vibha and the Dream Mile initiative. Team Vibha received this honor from Georgia House Representative Dr. Michelle Au during this year’s event.
Since its inception, Vibha has been able to provide opportunities for over 2.3 million underprivileged children through 250 projects in India and 10 projects in the US. Currently, Vibha supports 15 projects in India and 3 projects in the US.
The money Vibha has raised this year, $610K, will directly benefit Children’s Healthcare Of Atlanta, Inspire Edu which does a phenomenal work to close the digital divide and The International Community school, to name a few.
During the dream mile run, the runners gain an elevation of roughly 600ft traversing through the terrain. These committed runners don’t fret the sweat in their socks. They have been waiting for this day by creating sustainable plans to keep at it week after week, and eventually scaling the distance that they could run in a day.
As you look around, the photographers continue to make sure not to miss a single spectacular moment. A few people are being assisted in the first-aid tents by doctors qualified to take on any emergencies. Large LED screens show participants beaming as they cross the finish line. They have more reason to smile once they are handed over snacks and water for their hard work. The flash mob ladies are revving up the energy of the place.
For next year, you choose what you want to do. Be a participant or an onlooker, walk or run, it’s upto you. Because, if you think about it, this dream mile is also like a marathon relay. You do your best, and grab a run buddy to help you accomplish the goal.
Just remember to keep moving to leave your footprints. That might inspire the one who is right behind you to travel a little further without giving up. In the end, no matter how far you’ve come, you will always know how making a small difference feels like.
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About The Article Author:
I see myself as an advocate for bringing social, emotional and character development to families, schools and communities. I never want to let this idea out of my sight – Our children are not just GPAs. I’m a Writer and a Certified Master Coach in NLP and CBT. Until 2017, I was also a Big Data Scientist. In December of 2044, I hope to win the Nobel. Namasté.
Write to me or call me. Tell me what support from me looks like.
Program Director & Essential Life Skills Coach for Kids and Busy Parents
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