SHARED by: Hilarie Zimbicki, author of Positively Panicked and Former Gymtime Coach

A few weeks ago, when the Syria Refugee Crisis was getting the most attention in the media, I found myself at a playdate with my daughter and a few of my close girlfriends. We all become immersed in what exactly is happening in Syira and how absolutely tragic it is. Tears were shed as we discussed the loss of children’s lives and the now viral photo of the drowned toddler on Turkey’s shore. Together, we decided we were tired of just sitting and talking, it was time to take action.

This moment led us to what has now become the #OneMileChallenge. The idea behind this challenge is the famous and highly successful Ice Bucket Challenge benefitting ALS.


Walk one mile with an added challenge. For example, I encourage all moms of babies and toddlers to walk a mile carrying their little one, just as many Syrian mothers have to do to get their family to safe ground. If you don’t have a small child to carry, try carrying a 20 lb bag of potatoes, a heavy backpack, even your dog! Do the one mile barefoot, in the dark, up a long steep hill or with an elderly relative. For some people, just walking the one mile might be a challenge in itself and that’s okay! The point is to be challenged.

Once the challenge is completed, take a short video explaining what you did (the #onemilechallenge), describe how it felt and most importantly – challenge three friends to do the same! If they choose not to do the challenge, then they can donate to here. If you’re feeling super generous, share a video and donate! The donations will go to World Vision’s Syria Crisis funds.

In just a few weeks, we have created a Facebook group  with over 1,000 members, shared dozens of videos and photos of challenges, created a large Instagram following and raised over $1200 for World Vision and the Syrian Refugees. We have also managed to spread awareness and knowledge to many people about just what is happening in Syria. Recently, the challenge was done in Singapore. All of which is proof that together we can do great things!


The Syria Refugee Crisis is one of the greatest humanitarian disasters of this century and not enough people are talking about it. Of the 12 million Syrians affected, half are children. HALF. Many are now facing an uncertain future in crowded refugee camps where hope is hard to come by. Worldwide, nearly 60 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes. These people need our help. The money donated will go towards providing food, clean water, emergency supplies, access to basic healthcare and education, child-friendly spaces and safe places to play.


Doing the One Mile Challenge not only gives you a bit of understanding and insight to what the refugees experience, but sharing the video and challenging friends spreads awareness and will help raise funds to support the Syrian refugees. Our goal is to inspire you to help those who are suffering and struggling so much further than just one challenging mile. We hope you make a donation, yes, but helping is helping, whether that is by sharing a video, signing a petition, making a donation, volunteering or writing a letter to your state representative. Even if you don’t make a donation to World Vision, we hope you help in your own way.


We would love for you to spread the #onemilechallenge like wildfire. Tell your friends, share this post, share the fundraising pageFacebook, Twitter and Instagram are all great ways to share too! And, if you’re looking for other ways to help, follow this link and find petitions to sign, organizations to donate to and ways to volunteer.

Together, I know we can all make a big difference! Will you join us?

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