#HumanNature7DayChallenge: We can do more

“If you run now, without a moment’s rest, you will still be in time to warn King Lune.”

Shasta’s heart fainted at these words for he felt he had no strength left. And he writhed inside at what seemed the cruelty and unfairness of the demand. He had not yet learned that if you do one good deed your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one.

– The Hermit, from The Horse And His Boy, C.S. Lewis

When we started out with this challenge, our goals were simple:

  • Walk 7 days in armor.
  • Raise Php 10,000 for HERO Foundation, an organization that helps educate the children of Filipino soldiers who are injured or killed in action.

All I wanted to do was do something a little crazy, and raise some funds for charity along the way. But circumstances and an overwhelming show of support brought everything to a whole new level.

For starters, we’re way beyond the Php 10,000 mark. We have received over Php 20,000, in just one week. And it’s been suggested that we should aim even higher! So we’re taking a deep breath, crossing our fingers and toes, thanking our lucky stars, and shooting for the moon.

Now, this is about more than a 7-day challenge for Human Heart Nature. This is about helping real people in a real crisis.

New challenge: Help us raise Php 30,000 for HERO Foundation!

It’s not going to be easy. Christmas is approaching, and times are rough. There are kids to send to school, and families to feed and clothe. The typhoons that ravaged our country have left our homes damaged.

But it’s during times like these that people step up and rise to the challenge.

In 2009, when Typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana) hit the Philippines, our outpost was able to raise Php 100,000 in donations to help those who were affected by the floods. Many donations came from the US, Australia, and other friends all over the world. But a remarkable portion of those donations came from within the Philippines, from families who themselves were suffering in the aftermath of the torrential rains. I really hope we can count on the same generosity and selflessness and goodwill for this effort.

Be a HERO for the children of Filipino soldiers

The choice to give the donations to HERO Foundation was initially symbolic. Here we were, playing the part of soldiers from a fictional galaxy, executing the orders of a fictional empire. It seemed appropriate that our fictional personas would try to do some good for the children of those who were fighting wars and serving in an army in the real world. Little did we know how appropriate our timing was.

We launched the effort online on Saturday, September 8. On the morning of September 10, armed conflict began in Zamboanga, a beautiful city in the southern Philippines. As of September 13, at least 23 people had been reported killed. Other reports said the death toll was at 53.

It’s hard to tell how many lives the conflict in Zamboanga will take.

Inevitably, some of the lives lost will belong to the soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Others may be incapacitated for life. Already we’ve seen news reports about soldiers and policemen who have been killed or injured. Who knows how many children they’re leaving behind? How many more children will be orphaned by the time this conflict ends?

Last week, the choice of the HERO Foundation as the recipient of the donations was symbolic. Now it’s urgent.

All I can do is put on my Star Wars armor and walk around our village park. The idea of this simple march has gotten so many of you to part with your hard-earned money, to the benefit of the children of soldiers who have been injured or killed in action.

We’ve made it this far. I really hope we can go even further. Help us help HERO Foundation.

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