November 13: Enjoyed lunch with a friend, Rod Rivera, whose combination of superior age and athleticism inspired me to come out of my running retirement.
November 23: With my brand new running shoes laced up, ran .2 of a mile (yes, that’s two-tenths of a mile . . . I invite you to keep reading while you laugh).
December – January: Gradually increased my distance and limited my speed to prevent myself from destroying my knees like the time I tried to train for a marathon.
February 6: Now running 2 miles, I began to dream about running a 5K (3 mile race). Because I love turning normal events into opportunities for people to share their resources (Jazz Nativity, anyone?), I signed up for the Children’s Home Society’s 5K Race, committing to raise money for foster kids.
March 29: I individually texted almost every single person I had texted in the last year, asking each of them to share $5 for foster kids. It worked!
Over the next few days, the Children’s Home Society received $835 from my friends, making me the 2nd highest individual fundraiser for the event! I also convinced four other runners to join my team, which brought my MissionalUnity team total to $925.
Can you believe that? $925. Thank you to each person who shared $5! Here’s some of the ways you supported foster kids with your generosity:
- Transition home (for homeless teen moms – only 3 such programs in PBC and all the beds are always full)
- Safe Harbor (for troubled and runaway teens – they receive therapy and time to figure things out before the teen returns home)
- Bridges (a preventative program in the community to help with parenting skills)
- Street outreach (helps runaway teens)
- Gifts (to help create normalcy for the lives of foster children)
April 2: Ran the 5K. Had to stop three times in the first mile to stretch a calf injury, and actually made a wrong turn at one point (only I could get lost in a race!), but by God’s grace was able to finish 17th overall. My daughter finished 2nd in her age group (go Nellie!).
Most impressive, my MissionalUnity teammate and fellow elder at Church in the Palms, Jerry Barrantes, finished 5th overall!
Hurting my calf during the last few weeks of training prevented me from being in optimal shape for the race. On that 3rd mile, I REALLY wanted to stop and take a break. But you know what kept me going? The 800 bucks my friends had given to foster kids in honor of me finishing that race.
If you are inspired by this story to do something to help foster kids, but don’t want to run 3 miles, join us for Take Heart on May 22nd, 6pm, at Grace Fellowship and learn how you can get involved in the lives of modern-day orphans here in Palm Beach County.