New Hampshire

New Hampshire Girl Runs Half Marathon, Fundraises to Help Girls in Uganda

Leah Unger, 9, of Raymond has already raised $30,000 and is hoping to raise another $20,000 for Childvoice

A nine-year-old girl from Raymond, New Hampshire, completed her first half marathon this month, running 13.1 miles and raising more than $30,000 for families a world away.

Leah Unger is proud of herself and she should be. She completed the Seacoast Half Marathon in under two hours.

"That's cool," she said smiling.

But what's cooler is that she's running for much more than a medal.

"It's called Girls for Girls for Uganda because me and my sister, Abby, are girls and we are helping girls in Uganda," Unger explained.

Her idea started in April when she went to Uganda with her six-year-old sister and her parents. They traveled with a local non-profit called Childvoice to help refugee children affected by war.

"I was inspired because the girls worked really hard to heal, to get jobs, and work hard to take care of themselves and their kids," Unger explained.

So, when they got home, the sisters got to work making and selling the rice bags. Unger started raising money while training for the half marathon. The two have collected $31,000 that will eventually help build a well and a medical center in the African village they visited.

"I want to help them in a way because they really helped me," Unger said. "They changed my life, so I want to change theirs."

A child with a new perspective, proving that you're never too small to make a big difference.

"It's very exciting and makes me have a very big smile," she said smiling. "We can do anything if we really try and other kids can do it too."

Unger is already training and fundraising and training for her next half marathon. Her goal is to raise an additional $20,000 by her tenth birthday on Jan. 22.

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