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Foundation seeks runners in Marathon

Jenn Metz | Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Touching Tiny Lives Foundation (TTLF), a non-profit with strong Notre Dame roots committed to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa, hopes University students will join their efforts by joining their 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon team.

Registration for the Marathon is still open, and instructions for joining the TTLF team are available on the Foundation’s Web site, touchingtinylives.org

TTFL supports a safehouse for HIV/AIDS at risk or affected and acutely malnourished infants to children age five in Lesotho, Southern Africa and also conducts outreach to villages with little to no access to health care.

The Board of Directors currently has five Notre Dame graduates; two Notre Dame graduates are currently stationed at the safehouse as part of a post-graduate fellowship program. The Governing Board of the Foundation also has University connections, including University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, who serves as honorary director.

Maura Costello, the contact for the Foundation’s fundraising efforts, is hoping to raise local awareness in the Notre Dame community.

“I think the Marathon has the potential to be a great fundraising and awareness initiative,” she said.

Participants need to indicate TTLF as their charitable cause during the registration process and return a charity agreement to Costello. The minimum fundraising amount is $500, and there are three outlined fundraising categories with commitments to raise $50, $75 and $100 per mile.

She can be reached at mcostello@touchingtinylives.org

TTLF was founded in August 2005 by Notre Dame graduate Ken Storen after regularly taking children into his home while living in Lesotho in 2004.

According to its Web site, the Foundation’s mission is to ensure “the health and dignity of children impacted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Through the provision of clinical care and subsistence support, through the implementations of HIV transmission prevention programs, and through the promotion of global social responsibility, [TTLF strives] to catalyze processes of healing and hope for the children of Lesotho and the greater international community.”

Megan Towle, Notre Dame ’07, told The Observer in a February 2007 article the Foundation’s main goals are providing children a safe home, serving as an outreach program, preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and offering academic research opportunities for students regarding the formation of partnerships with international non-governmental organizations.