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© 2024 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

Racing for Opportunity Since 2012

By Lauren Hawley

2013 has been an inspiring year. In this blog series, the 12 Days of Opportunity, we are celebrating the accomplishments made possible by our caring and generous community of partners and supporters. Because of you, our clients are working their way out of poverty, strengthening their families and building vibrant communities in 22 countries around the world. 

In October 2012, Governor Deyl Kearin pushed himself to the limit for Opportunity International’s clients, by running an ultramarathon across the Sahara Desert. Over the course of one week, he ran 250 kilometers through punishing conditions to raise funds and awareness for our work in Africa.

When he returned home to Santa Barbara, California, his good friend Vanessa Felts was inspired to start her own adventure – this time, in support of Opportunity International’s women clients around the world.

Vanessa in the Gobi DessertIn May, she flew to China and ran an ultramarathon across the Gobi Desert. She was inspired by Opportunity’s ambitious, courageous women clients who never give up, and never stop working hard to change their lives and provide better futures for their children. In turn, Vanessa’s remarkable feat inspired many people to give so that more women around the world could be equipped to lift themselves out of poverty.

Through both Deyl and Vanessa’s races, over $60,000 was raised, which is enough to provide first-time loans to over 400 entrepreneurs. They’ve already made an incredible impact, but through their Run4Poverty movement, they plan to pass the baton to another extreme racer and impact even more clients in 2014 and beyond.


Thank you, Deyl and Vanessa, for your selfless and inspiring commitment to promoting sustainable change through Opportunity International. 

To start your own fundraiser to empower entrepreneurs, visit opportunity.org/fundraisers.

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