Social distancing requirements sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic forced Friends Without A Border to cancel its annual New York Gala and all of its other live fundraising events in 2020. As a consequence, the organization faced a serious shortfall in its budget for Lao Friends Hospital for Children.
Undaunted, management for the organization and the hospital came up with a bold idea to generate revenue: the International Virtual Run for Children.
The event, which occurred October 16-18, raised more than $115,000.
A virtual run allowed participants to practice social distancing by running, walking or cycling in their neighborhoods (or even at home on treadmills or stationary bikes) – thus avoiding mass gatherings typical of marathons and other races.
The event modified the Luang Prabang Half Marathon, the annual fundraiser for the hospital that attracts more than a thousand runners. Travel restrictions imposed by the Lao government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus prevented runners from other countries entering this year’s half marathon. Instead, runners in Luang Prabang were joined this year (in spirit) by runners, walkers and cyclists in England, Germany, Singapore, Canada, Japan, Australia, the U.S. and a few other countries.
Doctors and nurses gathered for a special thank-you photo (below) to show their gratitude to the Lowry family, which raised more than $5,500 in memory of their daughter Sage Lowry, who served at LFHC as a volunteer nurse.
Team We Run raised more than $9,700 in its campaign. In its extraordinary effort, the team ran from the capital city of Vientiane to Luang Prabang, covering a distance of nearly 240 miles.
Friends Without A Border extends a warm thank-you to all who participated in this fundraiser and to those who supported the event with their donations.
Videos of participants in Luang Prabang may be seen here on our YouTube channel.