Guest Post: Save The Nerds (and others!)

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By Shaul Behr

It's not easy, being a nerd.  
Imagine spending your life as a weedy wimp. 
Just knowing you're going to be the last one picked for the playground soccer game.
The dread of anticipation, the horror of realization, the abject humiliation when your side loses the toss and has to be "skins".  Again.
Spraining your wrist opening the salad dressing.
Getting sand kicked in your face at the beach.
Being the only one laughing at your own clever witticism.
Realizing everyone in the room is staring at you and wondering what was funny.
Or perhaps it was your braying nerd laugh punctuated by snorts?

Like I say, it's not easy.  I should know.  
Because - and I am officially coming out of the closet today - I am a nerd.
Now I know this may come as a shock to many of you who have known me for decades, but I feel I have to be true to myself and come out and say it - I am a nerd.  

But there is hope!

You see, even a guy who's been a nerd for over 40 years can - and should - be helped.
You don't want to just smile falsely at his otherworldly intellectual double-entendres and let him think it's ok.  Because tomorrow, he'll just crack another one.
As a friend, you want to give him a hand up.
It starts by talking to him, and helping him realize he can overcome his nerdiness.
Once he perceives that physical exercise beyond the long walk from the computer to the bathroom is actually a possibility, he may be ready for a challenge - like walking from the computer to the electronics store on the next block.  
With encouragement and guidance, his friendly coach can slowly push him to ever greater achievements, until he's doing crazy stuff that nerds never even dream of, like push-ups, sit-ups and competitive races.  
No salad dressing bottle can intimidate him now.
Even pickle jar lids quiver when they see him coming.
He can even learn not to make puns involving chemical formulae.  Formulas.  Whatever.
The nerd laugh... well.. you need a different kind of coach for that...

It's kind of similar with poverty.

There are a lot of people out there, in your neighborhood and mine, who are caught in a never-ending spiral of debts and obligations, who no matter how they try, somehow always have too much month left at the end of their money.
There are many charitable organizations out there who help the poor and give them financial relief.  But handouts are just a band-aid; the poor remain impoverished and require ever more assistance.
But there is one organization that gives people a hand-upLemaan Achai!
Lemaan Achai not only provides acute financial relief to the needy, but it organizes financial coaching seminars to train people in financial awareness and budgeting, so that their own income can stretch further.  
Lemaan Achai helps people get professional and vocational training to increase their employability.
And so many other programs, including a free dental clinic, summer camps, therapy and counselling, interest free loans, citizen's rights advocacy.
And the results are phenomenal: annually, around a quarter of the people on Lemaan Achai's books achieve financial independence
Can you name any other organization, anywhere in the world, that achieves anything like that?

In short, if you want to help poor people break out of the cycle of poverty, then Lemaan Achai is the smart choice.

So that's why I, reformed nerd, who used to get out of breath just walking around the block, am running 21.1km in the Jerusalem Marathon on 18 March, for Team Lemaan Achai, for the second consecutive year.

Please sponsor me, whether for ₪10 or $10,000 and help Lemaan Achai to continue its fantastic work.  
Plus, you're giving hope to thousands of other nerds, who can take heart that 

You can also follow my training progress on my Running for Chesed Facebook page.  Give us a "like" and a "share"!

With blessings from the Holy City of Ramat Beit Shemesh,



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