Toronto resident Russell Lavis ran a 100-km ultramarathon on November 7 to help raise funds for the work of World Vision Canada in Palestine.
The young Torontonian thought it would take about 15 hours but managed to complete the 100-kilometer ultra-marathon in just over 12 hours.
Is it a world record, and how many people have taken up the challenge of running 100 kms?
We do not know but there is little doubt young Russell is a remarkably committed individual.
So far, he has raised over $9500 for World Vision Canada’s child protection projects in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza.
His target is at least $10,000.
This is not a huge sum, especially for such a worthy cause.
Charitable tax receipts are available to those donating in Canada.
Russell says “It has been an absolute pleasure to support many different causes in my past marathons/ultramarathons including the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, along with several local charities such as Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.
“I appreciate the support of so many people in making donations towards the 100-km ultramarathon this past weekend.”
He said he chose World Vision Canada because “I have a real heart for the work that they do. I’ve seen the impact and it’s impressive.
“They’re all in when it comes to helping some of the world’s most vulnerable people—especially children.
“They get to the root of some very tough issues and find sustainable solutions. Some of these kids are in extremely difficult situations. The adversity they face on a day-to-day basis is a reminder as I went through the pain of the last few kilometers on Saturday.”
He added: “At this time, as people around the world are facing challenges with Covid-19, this is even more difficult in an area under military occupation. It is, therefore, good to be able to raise money that can be used to help, especially children.”
Donations continue to be received at https://worldvisioncan.akaraisin.com/Donation/Event/DonationInfo.aspx?seid=23461&mid=48 until Friday, November 13.
As reported in the Middle East Monitor, World Vision staff Mohammad El Halabi was detained in 2016 by the Israeli military.
He was held incommunicado for 50 days, during which time he was interrogated, tortured and held in solitary confinement.
Over four years later, El Halabi remains in Israeli military detention.
“This case is unprecedented in the Israeli legal system,” El Halabi’s lawyer Maher Hanna said in 2019.
“Israel knows that Halabi is innocent. Some Israeli officials told me that.”
World Vision continues its work in occupied Palestine, with projects in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
Such noble work deserves everyone’s support.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Russell Lavis for undertaking such an arduous challenge.