Shira Tarantino
Shira Tarantino campaign leader

Hello friends and family! Allie mentioned to me today that my birthday is in two weeks. I'm still strangely in summer mode, so I was caught off guard for a moment. Time sure flies!

I could have a big ol' birthday bash, of course, with fancy outfits and champagne, but turning 42 doesn't really lend itself to a monumental celebration. And ugh - Forty-Two?? That sounds old, doesn't it? I feel much younger than that big number. If it weren't for the fact that I have major stretch marks and other unsightly things due to having given birth twice, I'd say I feel like a young 29. In fact, I don't even remember my 30s - they came and went like the wind (not true - some pretty significant things happened in my 30s such as getting married and giving birth for the first time, etc., but I digress)!

But 42 I will be. Whether I like it or not. So instead of inviting you to my big expensive birthday bash which only exists in my head, I'd like to invite you to support a very real and very worthy cause: The Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Baseball player and civil rights activist Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and became the first African–American to play in baseball's major leagues. He wore the number 42 on his jersey, and most teams have retired Jackie's number in honor of him. The Jackie Robinson Foundation is dedicated to honoring his life and work. The foundation helps young people in need by providing scholarships and mentoring programs.

On the day I turn 42 - September 27, 2013 - I would be truly honored if you would please consider donating $42 to the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The foundation has made it easy to donate online (I've provided the link for you below). If you want to send me a birthday eCard, you can do it here.

Aside from me turning 42, this is especially important to me because my mother Cheryl was a schoolteacher in Camden, NJ to students just like the kids the foundation supports. The JRF aims to close the achievement gap by providing scholarships to disadvantaged minority students. Many of the kids that my mom taught would never make it to college, or when they did, would not have had the means to pay for it. Some of the students that my mother taught would be just about college age now. I often think about them and wonder if they would ever be able to reach their full potential. The JRF provides this kind of support for those students who have the potential to be great leaders.

Please help these kids! Thanks in advance for such an amazing birthday gift!

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