[UPDATE] The race on Sunday was a triumph in many ways and people continue to make donations. Riley fought through a stomach bug to finish the kids run in the cold and the rain and was greeted by the Mayor and the Executive Director of the local Red Cross chapter. Her story touched those who know her and those she has yet to meet. If you are thinking about giving to the Red Cross for disaster relief, this is an opportunity to do so and to inspire the spirit of giving in a young child who will learn and repeat the lesson time and again in the future. Please don't stop giving just because the race is over and thank you for your support. The people of Japan will need our help for a long time.
[ORIGINAL MESSAGE] On Thursday night, March 10, 2011 a massive 8.9 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan and was followed by a 7.4 aftershock. The main quake was the world's 5th largest earthquake since 1900. The quakes sent a tsunami inland across Japan's northeastern coastline, devastating homes, farmland, and everything in its path.
Riley is a five year-old little girl in the United States who awoke Friday morning to see her Mommy and Daddy's horrified reaction to the news and images of this disaster. She was scared - not for herself, but for the people who lost everything. She was shown a map of the world and assured that a natural disaster in Japan would not threaten her safety. Again, she insisted she was not afraid for herself and emphasized her need to help others. At that moment, completely unprompted, she asked if she could donate the savings from her allowance to the people of Japan. It was a truly selfless act of compassion.
Riley spent breakfast thinking of ways to expand her impact and help more people. She wanted to follow in her Daddy's footsteps and raise money. Her parents asked for a little time to think about the best way to put a plan together.
Riley was scheduled to run a 1k race to benefit the American Red Cross on Sunday, March 20. Since many runners like to support charity when they race, this seemed like a great way for Riley to use her energy to raise awareness about the disaster while raising relief funds through the American Red Cross. A call to the local chapter of the Red Cross confirmed this opportunity and donations made through this site will be sent directly to the Red Cross, not to Riley.
Riley's 1k race equals .6 miles. On average it takes 2,000 steps to run/walk a mile (perhaps a few more for people with little legs). Based on this average, it should take 1,200 steps to complete the 1k race. Riley's allowance is raised in quarters and she thought to raise money the same way - one quarter at a time or one quarter per step.
Thank you for helping Riley help others!