Running a marathon is a monumental commitment. Dedicating months to physical and mental training can tremendously strain a body and all aspects of a person’s life. Many charity marathoners actually cite their commitment to a cause as a way to maintain focus and motivation when the long training runs occur on a cold, wintery days.
For the last 14 years, Howard Kim has been running miles and miles for both fitness and charity. Howard was part of Team Red Cross 2016 for the 120th Boston Marathon, raising over $6,000 for the American Red Cross of Massachusetts.
Howard is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Jay Young Holdings Ltd, a Singapore based company with expertise helping technology companies establish or expand an international presence in the Asia-Pacific market. For over a decade his company has helped companies navigate the complex Asian markets with his unique knowledge and relationships at the engineering, operation and executive levels of business in the Asia-Pacific region.
Howard’s charity work with the American Red Cross of Massachusetts and his personal work in Nepal shine a particularly bright light on his humanitarian spirit. In April 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked much of the Himalayan country of Nepal in south Asia. The earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest killing 21 people in the base camps. All told, hundreds of thousands of people were left without safe living spaces, not to mention the destruction of buildings, infrastructure and schools.
Two years prior to the quake, Howard made a trip to Nepal where he was moved by the culture and kindness of its people. “I personally spent 18 days hiking up to the base camp (on Mount Everest) and visited many villages along the way. I found gentle and humble people there and wanted to find a way to assist them after the earthquake,” he said.
Through a project Howard calls ‘Hope and Courage,’ both personal and other donations from friends go to fund projects to improve lives in Nepal.
One area where ‘Hope and Courage’ has helped is the VV School, where over 500 students receive primary education. Howard’s ‘Hope and Courage’ program has purchased solar powered lighting in order for the school and children to have adequate light for the day. The school also hopes to install a local water filtration facility so staff and children have access to clean water and won’t have to rely on supplies from other areas.
“Our goal is to give the school the support required so the children can continue to receive an education for a brighter future,” he said.
Howard, 54, finished the 120th running of the Boston Marathon April 18, 2016, stepping across the finish line about four-and-half hours after starting in Hopkinton. As part of his participation with Team Red Cross, Howard not only met his fundraising goal, he also secured a donation of wearable heart-rate monitors from Mio. Through Howard’s contact with the company, Mio donated a heart-rate monitor to each member of Team Red Cross 2016 who met their fundraising goal. The donation of this equipment alone totaled over $7,500.
With the recent marathon behind him, Howard looks forward to his next challenges, professionally and personally. Knowing that his work with Team Red Cross will go directly to assist those most in need in Massachusetts, Howard continues to look for new ways to help those affected by disaster. “I believe any fundraising for charities like Team Red Cross is quite helpful to keep our lives healthy and involved. I'm very glad to be part of the Red Cross,” he said.