December 2011

Merry Christmas from the Seedling Trust!
What a year it’s been for the Trust! New bus for the kids, new book, countless new team members and supporters…the list goes on! We’ve been overwhelmed by the kind and heartfelt support we’ve felt from our own community right here and from distant points of the globe. Thank you to everyone who gave to our efforts, and may your holidays be filled with the unique joy that can come only from being with loved ones in good health. See a quick recap of our year’s most exciting highlights here.
Just as it’s been from the beginning, the Seedling Trust’s mission is simple and straightforward and locally-based: to improve the lives of children in the Children’s Homes, the municipally-run institutions in Budapest that care for orphaned and disabled infants and kids. In total, the city of Budapest cares for 2000 kids, and we believe that we have a long way to go until we see 2000 happy faces, but together we can do it.
This year our cumulative funds raised amounted to more than EUR 50,000, all of which directly went to help the children. This meant that we could achieve our first major goal, which was to purchase the specially-equipped bus that will mean the first of many trips to the zoo, the lake, the park and other exciting places for the Seedlings. The Trust had a strong fundraising performance at several important road races, including the SPAR marathon and the London marathon, and we launched our Team Heart initiative to help establish the charity marathon model in Hungary. And although our focus remains here at home, we’d like to expand our mission and take our highly-successful model to another community in Kigali, Rwanda. The Rwanda Seedlings is an ongoing effort to start a tradition of charity marathon running in Kigali – with the donations going directly to local orphanages and also support the educations of children living at the Gazimba orphanage.
All proceeds from the book benefit the Seedling Trust.

We have the perfect gift for that special someone who has everything…and wants to give some of it back. Andrea Snow’s book Heart Over Heels (Egy ütemre dobban a szív) is available in English and Hungarian in every major bookstore and online book catalogue in Hungary. The book is a highly personal, compelling read that clearly lays out why charity marathons are one of the most effective fundraising models in the world, and how to mobilize your physical strength and skills to train and fundraise.

Since its release in November 2011, Heart Over Heels has consistently been on Alexandra Books bestseller list. With lots of support and promotion from the Budapest Sports Office (BSI) the book is generating a significant amount of buzz in the sports community as well as in the online, print and broadcast media. BSI’s registration office is also rating the book for both runners and non-runners on their top recommendation lists for Christmas.
Heart Over Heels is required reading for anyone wanting to make a monumental achievement. A major key to the book’s success is the fact that it speaks to such a wide community. It’s just right for those who are already in marathon-level shape but never thought about how to convert those kilometers to good works, but it’s also inspiring and exciting reading for those who work hard to better their communities but never thought about a marathon as a fundraising tool. Finally, it’s simply enjoyable and thought-provoking reading for anyone who wants to understand how to take personal adversity and turn it into a meaningful goal. Even just buying the book is a way to start helping – all proceeds from sales go directly to the Seedling Trust.

Villa Bagatelle
Thanks to Villa Bagatelle and the generosity of so many in the Budapest community, the Seedlings are going to have an exciting and joy-filled Christmas this year again. Find out more about the new Christmastime tradition we’re creating at one of Budapest’s most beautiful and storied establishments.
Opened just two years ago, Villa Bagatelle has already taken its place as one of the most elegant dining and coffee spots in Budapest. Fortunately for us, the management of Villa Bagatelle likes to give back to the community that’s made them so successful. This year we’re proud to say we’ve once again organized a Christmas gift event for the Seedlings at Villa Bagatelle. There will be a beautiful tree festooned with gingerbread hearts, each with the name of a Seedling and his or her Christmas wish written on it.
Just like last year, the event will be a deeply personal and warm way of letting these children in state care keep believing in the Christmas spirit. Even a single, simple, inexpensive gift can make an unforgettable difference in the life of a child in state care.
The gifts – one for each child in the 12th district care homes -- will be delivered on Christmas Eve for the children to open. Just as in 2010, we would like to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone who donated time or gifts for all your generosity and well wishes.
We know that this time of year there are countless opportunities and requests for giving to a multitude of very deserving causes -- so we’re particularly grateful that our supporters chose us.

New York Marathon:
Another 42 clicks for the Seedlings! And another day of the indescribable euphoria that comes with being part of one of the world’s greatest sports events. Seedling Trust co-founder Andrea Snow ran her best time ever on her third New York Marathon, which was also her thirteenth road race since the Seedling Trust was founded two years ago. Read more about the 2011 New York Marathon here.
The New York City marathon stands as one of the world’s most exciting events for many reasons. Nearly every runner in the race runs for a chosen charity, and this year was a record-breaking weekend. The race’s winner -- Kenyan national Geoffrey Mutai – brought in a stunning 2:05:05 time (precisely three hours ahead of Andrea’s 5:05:05), which now stands as the fastest performance on a record-certified course in the United States. That wasn’t the only record broken – the top three men as well as the women's wheelchair champion also beat course records. But above and beyond the excitement of sheer speed and endurance is the fact that there were more than 47,000 runners raising a total of $34 million for charity. The New York Marathon is an event with a stunning impact for a number of organizations doing life-saving work around the world. For anyone who wants to run a marathon, why not start with one of the world’s best, biggest and most exciting? But don’t forget to do it for charity!

Best Birthday Ever
One thing is for sure: we all have a birthday every year. What if this year we make it count – for somebody else? Instead of unwrapping another round of gifts nobody needed, maybe it would be a better idea to start a birthday fundraiser tradition and ask friends and family to contribute to your cause instead. Here are some inspiring examples from Crowdrise:
1. Go here and here for a couple examples of birthday fundraisers on Crowdrise.
2. Go here to start your birthday fundraiser.

And check out the next issue of our newsletter, where Trust co-founder Andrea Snow will describe how she managed to turn her January birthday into a boost for her favorite cause.


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