Comments for a Cause: Racing with Leslie

It’s the first of the month and around here at It’s Just Life that means that it is time to count the comments!  This past month I chose a local group in Mason City called My Happy Place that creates wonderful rooms for kids who have endured or are enduring some crisis in their lives.  It is a wonderful way to show these kids that people care and that they can have their own special place.  I can not say enough about this organization and the dreams that they are helping to come true.  We made a great effort this month with comments and a donation of $226.00 will be made to this great group.  Thanks to all who commented!!!  You can read the original post by clicking here.

world raceIt is always wonderful to see young people step out in faith and pursue a great adventure.  It is even better to see children of your friends do something amazing and in May we will all be able to help support the daughter of one of my best friends from our Navy days in Orlando.  Virginia and I have stayed connected since those days long ago and social media has definitely helped us recently to rekindle that friendship and I count myself very blessed to have her as one of my friends.  One of her daughters, Leslie, is going on an adventure and we get to be a part of it.  I “interviewed” Leslie and her words are so fabulous that I hope you will all take the time to read and see what The World Race is all about!!!

Leslie Oxford

Leslie Oxford

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself—who you are, education and what your interests are is a great place to start.
I am 22 years old. I graduated from Florida State University one year ago (May 2013) with a Bachelors in Religion (specifying in Western Antiquity). My long term goal is to get a Masters in non-profit business management and to work with missionaries world wide. In my free time, I dance (15+ years of ballet), I work with teenagers (I intern with YouthQuake Live and with St. Peter’s Episcopal’s Youth Ministry), and I am a voracious reader (I read 2-3 books a week).

2..Explain what World Race is all about and how you found out about it.
World Race is not an actual “race”. It is an 11 month, 11 country mission trip through Adventures in Missions. July 2014 to May 2015 I will be living out of my backpack going across the world to help people in need. I first heard about the World Race 11 months before I applied (how perfect is that?!) In early 2013, I was a senior at Florida State University, and slightly terrified with what I was going to do with my life. Every so often I would talk to my co-worker turned friend Paige. She and I would pray for each other in our uncertainty of the future. During one of our talks, Paige mentioned World Race. The idea resounded with me, but God told me to wait. So instead, I prayed about going on World Race.

3. What specifically will you be doing as a part of World Race?
My specific route for World Race will take me to the following countries: Albania, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, India, Nepal, Mongolia, and China. Since each country is different and has different needs what I will be doing will change accordingly. For instance, when I am in Romania I will be working with the gypsy population, which is often discriminated against and therefore they find difficulty getting basic needs met. But then, Swaziland has the highest percentage of people with AIDS in the entire world, so I will be working with AIDS patients and AIDS orphans. And then when I am in India (and in Bulgaria too) I will be working with women in the sex trade industry. Every country is a little bit different, but the mission remains consistent throughout the trip, which is to love those who are in need, and to help where I can.

4. Who has influenced you the most in your life?
The people who have influenced me the most are undeniably my parents. However as that is the obvious answer to this question, the bibliophile in me demands that I name my favorite author as well. So, J. R. R. Tolkien has made indelible impact on my life. Through his stories, he taught me so much wisdom. From the power of friendships to the thrill of adventures, Tolkien taught me that hope is never in vain. Also he is partly responsible for my love of potatoes.

5. What did you dream you would be when you “grew up”.?
I had several dreams about my future profession when I was little. But the three most important dream job of my childhood was becoming a teacher, a writer, and a missionary. I no longer want to be a teacher. I do not think I have that kind of patience to deal with kids. While I still love writing, I am selfish with my stories. The stories I write are for me (at least for now). I still want to be a missionary, and I have wanted to be one since I was 3. Of course, when I was 3, I just wanted to eat Chinese food all of the time.

6. If you could have one wish come true what would it be?
I really want to live during the Roman Empire. As someone who studied Religions of Western Antiquity, the Roman Empire was my primary setting for most of my academic life. I love all of the nitty gritty details about the Ancient Rome, and I would love to just experience a day of it.

7. If you had to describe yourself in 4 words what would they be?
Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving
I am such a fan of Myers Briggs personality types that I could not resist using these words. I am an INFP, pretty much a text book definition of one. I am dreamer whose life mission is to help others. I live by a strong moral system. I am creative and imaginative. I love people, but sometimes I just need to be by myself. And I procrastinate.

8. Tell us a bit about your fundraising goals and when you have to have all the money raised.
I need to raise $16,500 for World Race. This goal includes travel expenses, food, lodging, travel insurance, and any supply costs for my mission projects. This goal does not include any of my gear, my vaccinations, medications, or miscellaneous costs of preparing to leave. I need to have all my funds in by January 2015. However, I leave in July 2014. So fundraising, while I’m abroad might be a bit of a challenge.

Make sure you check out Leslie’s cute video and consider donating to her “race” yourself.  It will definitely be a great place to put $11.  Don’t forget that for every comment on my blog this month on any post Mr. Diamond and I will donate 50 cents to Leslie’s fundraising efforts!   Check out her blog here.



  1. Thank you for doing what you do…giving of your time and willing to donate to help so many different organizations. On behalf of My happy Place, THANK YOU for highlighting our org. last month. It’s great to know we have the support of so many. And…kudos to you for selecting another worthy cause…Leslie and her World Race! I hope you receive tons of comments! Thank you Beth Ann!

    • Thanks, Lisa. I was pretty happy with the results for My Happy Place. You are all doing such wonderful work in our community and I have loved all of the rooms that I have seen that you have transformed. It is an amazing concept and you guys took that and ran with it. So happy to have been a tiny part of that!

  2. Virginia says:

    Thank you Beth Ann for bringing attention to this lovely young woman. Leslie is brave, compassionate and unselfish with her love for others. I can’t wait to see what God does in her life as she shares His love. I am so proud and excited for her though I will miss her beyond measure. Yes, I am Leslie’s mama!

    • Mama Extraordinaire is who you are, Virginia. I am so excited to be a small part of her journey. It is amazing to see our children grow into people that we really like, isn’t it? You have done a fabulous job and you should be so proud of her. I am excited for what is ahead for her.

  3. Wow! This is incredible. My prayers go with Leslie.

    • Thanks, Lily, for stopping by. We are thrilled to be sharing Leslie’s adventure with her and love that she is so enthusiastic about her work!

  4. You and Chris are such a blessing to many via your generous and loving hearts and spirits.

    And, Leslie, what an incredible young woman with a heart for others and for God.

    • Thanks, Audrey. It is all Mr. Diamond since my blog does not make money on its own. 🙂 We have been blessed and want to share that with others–that is what we are meant to do and we are happy to do it.

  5. I love your passion for this aspect of your blog. Keep up the good work!

    • Aw, thanks, Marla. It is absolutely the best thing I could do with this blog and it helps me give back a bit. I love it. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Ah, another great cause, Beth Ann! Blessings to you and the organizations you (and we by commenting) support. Can’t wait to learn more about Leslie’s “race.”

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Thank you, Kathy! I think Leslie is going to have an amazing time and I love how all of her friends are coming by to support her with comments. This could be our best month yet!

  7. What an amazing young woman (and cute video)! That’s great that her World Trip is your cause this month. Heading over to her blog now!

    • Isn’t the video adorable, Dianna? I loved it and I think she is an amazing young woman with a lot of love to share. How wonderful that is.

  8. So excited to meet you this month!! Cant wait to hear more about your story, squademate!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!!! It is amazing how these types of things bring people to my blog that I never would have “met” before!!! Keep on coming back!!!

  9. Leslie is a beautiful person and a wonderful friend, and I can’t wait to see how this journey shapes her and the world around her! We’re rooting for you Leslie!

  10. Congratulations to “My Happy Place” for their successful month and to “The World Race” for being chosen this month.. Great choices Beth Ann, as usual.

    • Thanks, Jake. I was really pleased with the results for My Happy Place and am thrilled to help Leslie with her fundraising goals.

  11. Awesome! Praying for you sis! 🙂

  12. Alexa Williams says:

    Thank you for sharing Leslie! Looking forward to seeing the special things God brings you this year, and the ways he uses you.

    • Alexa, Thanks for stopping by to support Leslie. it seems like she has a lot of folks who support her and believe in her but that is not a big surprise at all!

  13. Myles Willman says:

    I am excited to be going on the World Race with Leslie. I can’t wait to spend eleven months doing ministry and loving on people around the world with her.

    • Myles, Thanks so much for stopping by and supporting Leslie by commenting! I am thrilled to be a teeny part of her amazing journey!

  14. Thanks so much Beth Ann for your interview with my neice, Leslie Oxford, and providing her an opporturnity to share her commitment to the mission field. It takes great courage and faith to step forward and say ” I WILL GO”. Thanks again for the part that you are playing in helping her meet her financial goal and encoragement

    • Ann, Thank so very much for taking the time to stop by! Leslie is an amazing young lady and I am beyond thrilled to help out a bit. When Virginia told me she was doing this I immediately answered her back with —this sounds like a great Comments for a Cause!!! Love being able to encourage young people to do great things. Come back anytime! I post something 5-6 times a week so lots of chances to comment!

  15. I am so excited to spend the next 11 months with Leslie! Thank you for helping her with fundraising!

    • Hunter—you rock!!! What you guys are doing is amazing beyond words and I am thrilled to be helping out a little bit with Leslie’s fundraising!

  16. This is a wonderful idea and great cause.

  17. Rachael says:


  18. Wow that’s great as it the new cause!

  19. YAY! So excited for Leslie and her amazing adventure she will embark on soon!

  20. Brooke says:

    Go Leslie!!!

  21. Walter Pillsbury says:

    Thank you for being a part of this.

  22. Leslie is such a wonder! What a giving spirit. I’m so lucky to be her big sister.

  23. Kimberly says:

    Thanks for supporting Leslie! Truly appreciate it!

  24. This sounds like such a great cause. Lots of luck to Leslie — with the race and her future!

  25. What an awesome way to use the comments section in your blog! Might have to steal this idea… 🙂
    Thank you for choosing to support Leslie and the World Race this month. I’ve been with her since the day she was born, and have been so privileged to watch her grow up. Being her big sister challenges me in the best of ways – she is a gift and an inspiration! Now off to comment on some other posts 😉

    • Allison- thanks for stopping by! Your whole family is pretty darn amazing and I am thrilled for Leslie. This is going to be such an amazing trip!!!!

  26. Wow – What an amazing program and opportunity! I will pray that her World Race is safe and strengthens her faith.

  27. Deborah says:

    I think that it is beautiful that this young lady is placing her gifts and talents into the creative hands of God during this stage of her life. I also think it is wonderful. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Deborah— thanks for stopping by! I am always in awe of people like Leslie who really step out in faith. She is an amazing young lady!

  28. Another great cause. Wonderful! What a great thing to do, and to support!

  29. Michelle Cambron says:

    Thank you for highlighting Leslie! Your piece is very well written and there is no doubt that anyone reading it, whether they know Leslie and her mission or not, will fully understand what she’s about to embark on and what she needs. I am very excited for her and for the wonderful things God is going to do through this remarkable young lady!

    • Michelle– thanks for stopping by! Your words are so true–// she presented herself very well and clearly in the interview! She is definitely going places!!!

  30. She is an amazing person. Great cause! There are some truly wonderful young people out there. She is darling, cute video!!!

  31. Debbie Smith says:

    Great article! Go Leslie : ~)

  32. Martha Hofmeister says:

    Thank you for helping Leslie!

  33. well first – Whew! – I was worried I was going to have to start running when I read your title. 🙂

    but second, and most important – wow! what an amazing young woman! (it must be the name, ha!) I would have loved to do something like this when I was young – and I did try, but sadly I didn’t raise enough money back at that time. Since I cannot really go now – this is why we support something like Plan Canada; to be a help and Hope somewhere else in the world. Bravo to her and God’s blessing and safety when she travels.

    • Whew—didn’t mean to give you a scare about forcing you into running!!!! “This” Leslie is quite an amazing young woman and I am thrilled to “introduce” her to you all!

  34. Kimberly says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for supporting Leslie!

  35. Ann Pillsbury says:

    It is so wonderful to see all the comments and the support for Leslie. Thanks again.

  36. Leslie says:

    Thank you so much for supporting me this month! And thanks to everyone for commenting. It means so much to me.

  37. pattisj says:

    What an adventure. Go Leslie!

  38. Sounds like another worthy cause & a fabulous adventure!

  39. Another great cause and adventure! Another winner Beth Ann!

  40. Jennifer says:

    Beth Ann,
    I cannot thank you enough for supporting my sister Leslie for this particular mission. I am so excited about the plans God has for her. Thank you for supporting a great cause every month!

  41. This girl is beautiful, courageous and joyful! Excited to be a part of her journey. Thanks for highlighting her! Excited to be a new follower of your blog 🙂

  42. I am one of Leslie’s squad mates and just recently met her the other week at training camp. Leslie is definitely kind and caring, she has a heart for those around her, but one thing that may not be as obvious is that Leslie is also very strong and courageous. Training camp was very physical and for someone like Leslie who struggles with diabetes the intensity of the week mixed with the less than ideal food choices for a diabetic (we ate food from all different cultures around the world), left her struggling and feeling sick the whole week. But one thing i never heard from her mouth was a single complaint, i don’t think i ever saw her without a smile. The word that comes to my mind when i think of my new friend Leslie is Gutsy!! I am very proud to have her on our squad.

    • Josh, thanks for stopping by! So glad we met you through your comment and we are all thrilled for all of you going on the World Race. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.


  1. […] her upcoming World Race mission trip.  11countries in 11 months!   You can read more about it by clicking on the post where she was first introduced to you.  I am THRILLED to announce that together we raised $345  and Mr. Diamond and I will be making a […]

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