Monday, May 15, 2006

Help for Tanzanian runners

Help for Tanzanian runners, guides and porters.

Hi all!  My apologies in advance if some of you do not think this is related to the business of the elists I am sending this too.  This cause helps runners, mountaineers, hikers, skiers and their families, either directly to those assisted by these projects and/or to the clients they serve who enable them to make a good living.

I have been collecting clothing and shoes for shipment to Summit Expeditions in Tanzania. This is the company run by my friend, ultrarunner Simon Mtuy.  Simon and his brothers guided myself and 11 friends up Kilimanjaro in January.  He is currently in the States running several events, including Western States 100.  He will be in Vermont running Covered Bridges in June.

The items collected are sent to Oakland, Ca. where the U.S. principal of Simon's non-profit foundation lives. Alice Hyatt goes over to Simon's village in Tanzania at least once a year, and takes containers of stuff for the villagers (many of whom are porters and guides and runners) and their families.  She collects everything in  Oakland to take over in containers.  Shipment is expensive.  That is what I am finding with getting things to Oakland.

I have the following requests:

1.  Send donations if you  can to Alice Hiatt marked for Summit
Expeditions/Hope through Opportunity Foundation, CA 26 Chico Court,
Oakland, CA  94611
Donations in good condition may include running/hiking shoes, sandals,
clothing good for the warm climes and on the mountain, running type
clothing, gloves, long johns, sunglasses etc.

2.  If anyone is going out to Calif., contact me and haul some stuff
out.  Much cheaper this way.  If you  are only checking one bag or none, I will get you something to take West on a flight.  Dear friend Tony Rossmann just hauled out a large duffel.  Any of you coming to Vermont 100 who would be willing to haul something back, let me know and I'll have it at the race site to give you.  Once in Oakland, Alice or Simon will arrange for the stuff to be picked up if you aren't able to deliver it.

Note, this is a 501(c)(3) organization so that any postage etc. is tax
deductible. In addition to clothing villagers and providing health care
needs, the Foundation has been able to rebuild the school in the village of Mbahe and build a real bridge across the river which runs through the village.  Previously kids would be washed downstream during high rains as the only bridge was a worn out wooden bridge that sat too close to the waters.  For many of these children, the bridge is the only way to get to school.

Simon Mtuy also works with the Kilimanjaro Porters Association raising
the bar for the treatment of porters and guides.  He holds the record
both assisted and unassisted for the ascent/descent on Kilimanjaro.  His assisted record is 8:23 (?), unassisted 9:21 set this year!  Simon and the Foundation also raise funds for the fight against HIV. Read more about all of his and the Foundation's efforts on

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