Posts Tagged dfw

Let’s get a new year off to a great start! These Members have gone above and beyond the regular M/W/F runs and shown us the spirit of Back on My Feet!

adam Adam Rubin, Non-Residential Members, Dallas LIFE
“I love Back on My Feet because it’s really the perfect way to start off the day. Every morning run with Dallas LIFE is a truly energizing experience – everyone’s so positive and encouraging, it’s infectious. And if someone is having a rough morning, everyone else is there for support. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have met my teammates – they’re such an inspiring group of people. Often times after runs, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to give back as much as I’ve gotten out of this experience. Back on My Feet is a very special organization, and I’m honored to be a small part of it.”
Christopher, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Christopher is a great team member! Christopher joined Back on My Feet in November 2012 and has attended every class available. He is currently looking for employment and enjoying leading his team with a positive attitude. Way to go Christopher!
Raul Serrano, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“I like coming out to see the smiling faces and welcoming arms from both Residential and Non-Residential Members alike. Everyone always seems honestly happy to be there and glad I’m there with them. Running is something I would do on my own but it’s better when I’m there.”
vanessa Vanessa, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Vanessa has volunteered on multiple occasions at races where we depended on volunteers. She has attended all of the Financial Literacy classes and loves coming to the monthly computer courses. However, Virginia’s greatest accomplishment to date is gaining new employment in January 2013!
Natalie Avis Natalie Avis, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“I love that through Back on My Feet I have the opportunity to meet wonderful people from all kinds of backgrounds and life situations. My teammates are always supportive and full of positive energy, even at 5:45 am! After every run I am encouraged to be a better and healthier person, and I love seeing the accomplishments of Team Bridge, both Residential and Non-Residential Members.”
Theresa, Residential Member, The Bridge
Theresa pushes herself despite a foot injury. Always ready for a hug and consistently smiling, Theresa loves the fact that Back on My Feet has helped her meet new friends!
 bryan Bryan Cathey, Non-Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
“I love to run and I love to help people. A friend told me about Back on My Feet and it seemed like a perfect marriage of the two. I had no idea I would actually look forward to waking up at 4 AM three times a week but I do – and running with the VA team has quickly become a very meaningful part of my life. Back on My Feet is an amazing organization that allows me to give back in some small measure what was so freely given to me during my own personal struggles.”
Mike, Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
While not the loudest Member of the team, Mike reservedly supports his teammates, Back on My Feet and staff. He has offered to go above and beyond the usual Member expectations on numerous occasions. We are very proud of his success and look forward to seeing Mike run towards his goals!

We are so thankful for these all-star Members this November! We have such a busy month! And next month we will have even more Residential and Non-Residential Members to honor…

John Watson, Non-Residential Members, Dallas LIFE
“I joined Back on My Feet about three months ago because I was looking for volunteer opportunities in Dallas. When I read the description of what Back on My Feet was about, I thought it was simply brilliant. For many years now I have used running as a way to bring myself out of my own difficult situations. When I can’t deal with the stress at work, I go for a run. When I am going through a bad breakup, I go for a run. If I get in a fight with a friend or a family member, I go for a run. By the time I am done, the problem hasn’t disappeared, it is still there waiting for me to face it, but *I* have changed. I have cleared my head and usually have a different perspective on the challenge I am facing.”
Anthony, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Wow! Anthony used to be reserved and shy, but now he’s not! Always showing up with a great attitude, Anthony was a no-brainer to honor as Residential Member of the Month for Dallas LIFE. We love ya!
Bill Turner, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“Member accomplishments inspired by Back on My Feet are amazing stories of meeting the challenges of life and they encourage me. Although injury has stopped my running, the community I now feel a part of has inspired me to meet my challenge. As Jennifer mentioned in orientation, I have quickly found that Back on My Feet does as much and more for its Non-Residential Members as it does for Residential Members. I am grateful to be a part of it!”
Jose, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Jose is a walker, but a very motivated walker! He definitely walks with a purpose and is trying to get somewhere! He always has a friendly smile and a welcoming attitude. Thanks for always being a friend Jose!
Adam Cowdin, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“I like Back on My Feet because it provides a team atmosphere that allows its members to know that they have a group of people that will hold them accountable and generate friendly rivalries that encourage growth.”
Raymond, Residential Member, The Bridge
Raymond has come a long way since his first days with Back on My Feet. Despite challenges, Raymond has moved forward and into his own apartment! Raymond still joins the team on morning runs even while he is job searching. Great job man! We are very proud of your progress!

Wow! Has it been a year since we last recognized our September Members of the Month?! It’s been too long, so let’s get down to it…

Kurt and Teresa Pennington, Non-Residential Members, Dallas LIFE
“We have been involved with Back on My Feet since May of 2011, and waking each Friday morning to run with our Dallas Life family has been nothing short of wonderful. Each week is filled with warm hugs, encouraging cheers, and open minds- an experience that truly blesses our newly-married life. We look forward to making more memories with Back on My Feet, and our Dallas Life family!”
Ricky, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Ricky no longer lives at the Dallas LIFE facility but continues to run with Back on My Feet. Ricky has maintained 90% attendance for the morning runs and more importantly maintains a great attitude! He is working on his resume and hopes to begin interviewing for a job very soon! Keep up the hard work Ricky!
Evie McGerr, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“I’ve grown through this and am so encouraged through this experience. These great people are championing change and making a difference in their own lives. What a privileged to try and keep up with them!”
Regina, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Regina has 100% attendance!!! She brings a “can do” attitude to her team at the Salvation Army. Regina even showed up to a run the day after a root canal just to walk and show her commitment to the team. Thank you Regina for being such a dedicated and driven team member!
Rick Wilson, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“I think that Back on My Feet does a great job of teaching and blending both running and critical life-skill disciplines.  Since I work part-time in the fitness industry, the fact that Back on My Feet uses physical fitness as a foundation to helping others improve their lives in a huge way is really awesome! I decided to volunteer because of the people.  We’re like a big, loving family – growing, supporting and helping each other with every step.”
Gabrielle, Residential Member, The Bridge
Gabrielle has maintained 100%!!! We are so proud of her diligence and determination. Gabrielle is creating positive habits quickly and is helping to model a healthy lifestyle for those around her! Keep up the hard work Gabrielle, you can do it girl!

Tami, Angela, Amy, Bill, Joe and Renaulda all exemplify the Back on My Feet spirit – determination, motivation and self-confidence! Way to go guys, you make us a very proud organization. You inspire others!

Tami Darlington, Non-Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
“I receive blessings from the wise words I hear Residential Members share as we run in the mornings. I am joyful when I see a Member “suit up” for a first day on a job. And I absolutely cannot describe the emotions that stir in me when I watch a Member cross a finish line. Those smiles bring chills to me!”
Angela, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Angela is a single mother of two and currently works as a hostess in a restaurant. Recently enrolling in school, Angela loves running and has maintained 90% attendance in addition to running four local 5Ks in Dallas. Way to go girl! We are very proud of you!
Amy Glasscock, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“I have been blessed many times over in just the short time that I have been a Non-Residential Member of the Salvation Army team and completed my first 5k in over 4 years just last week at the Too Hot To Handle. I think our team motivates me more than I could ever motivate them!”
Bill, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Bill, a US Veteran, was a treat to work with at the Habitat for Humanity build and a fantastic participant at the AT&T Career Aware event this past month. His great attitude has lead him to a job at the VA Hospital and we are very proud of all of his accomplishments! Go Bill go!
Joe Torres, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“I’m not sure he gets more out of Back on My Feet, the Residential Members or the Non-Residential Members. Personally, I believe that I may be benefitting more. Each time I have a chance to run with a different Member and listen to their stories I am inspired by their perseverance and their will to move ahead in life. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to be a small part of our Residential Members’ lives.”
Renaulda, Residential Member, The Bridge
Renaulda’s positive attitude shines through any situation! With a quiet determination he tackles all obstacles in his way. Renaulda completed his first 5K on July 15th at Too Hot To Handle. Awesome job Renaulda!
Lydia Ghattas, Non-Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
“Back on My Feet has changed my perspective on life.  I love the friends, and now family, I’ve met through running in the mornings and races throughout the month.  At 5:45 AM everyone stands in the huddle the same.  Everyone has a unique story and the more I spend time with them the more I want to know and share my story.  Spending time with BoMF lets you be a small part of something greater going on across the country.  I recently ran with one of the Atlanta teams and was received with a warm welcome and of course, hugs!”
Channing, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Channing began running with his Dallas LIFE teammates in March 2012. Channing has maintained 90% attendance and is looking forward to completing the Next Steps portion of the Back on My Feet program. Channing was the first Member to cross the finish line at the Jog with the Frog 5K on March 31st. Way to go Channing! Keep up the hard work!
Bianca Hernandez, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“When I joined Back on My Feet, I figured it would be a good way to log a few extra miles. I planned on going one day a week, but that changed quickly! I had no idea what a big part of my life it would become! Even though getting up before dawn is tough, I can’t imagine life without my teammates at the Salvation Army. Whether it’s a PR or a new job, watching them achieve their goals is inspiring, and I am proud to be a small part of such a great organization.”
Greg S., Residential Member, Salvation Army
Greg, a United States Marine Corps veteran, found himself at the Salvation Army facility after losing his job with Dallas I.S.D. Having worked as a crossing guard, Greg entered the grand per diem program for veterans and joined Back on My Feet in August 2011. Greg completed his first half marathon on March 25th and is currently applying for positions with Marriott. Run Greg Run!
Rosalyn Davis, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“When I joined Back on My Feet, I was not a morning person, nor was I a recreational runner. Back on My Feet has transformed me into a runner. Admittedly, the morning part still needs a bit of work. I love being greeted with genuine smiles and meaningful hugs, in the mornings. It makes the sacrifice of sleep worth it. I love witnessing the dedication, victories, and accomplishments of our Residential members. It’s inspiring.”
Montania, Residential Member, The Bridge
Montania is a valued member of Team Bridge and has been running with Back on My Feet since December 2011. He has competed in numerous local 5Ks and looks forward to applying for positions with our job partners having maintained 90% attendance. Keep running Montania!

Wow! It’s been one whole year since we launched the Back on My Feet program in Dallas and we couldn’t have done it without some incredible people along the way! This month, let’s celebrate love, by hugging and high fiving our friends that have taken the next step to self-sufficiency or helped a friend along the way.

Megan Sanders, Non-Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
“Back on My Feet is a message of hope, for everyone involved, and has given me a sense of purpose. I am excited every day to spend time with my Dallas LIFE family, sharing stories and being a part of each others’ lives. The lack of judgment and welcoming environment is what drew me in; hugs, prayers, and friendships are what keep me coming back. I am so happy to be able to continue celebrating every milestone that each member makes along the way.”
Sheila W., Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Sheila, a victim of abuse, came to Dallas LIFE in December 2011 and began running with Back on My Feet in January 2012. Sheila inspired others with her performance at the Hot Chocolate 15K and is training for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in March 2012.
Elizabeth Bauman, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“I like Back on my Feet because it gives me the opportunity to share my love of running with others who might not have ever enjoyed the sport before. Not only do I get to run with them, but I get to share my life and learn about their lives as well. All this and the end result encourages Residential Members and myself to become better runners as well as better people.”
Bobby R., Residential Member, Salvation Army
Bobby, a U.S. veteran, joined Back on My Feet in June 2011. Bobby has recently moved out of the Salvation Army shelter and continues to run with the team on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. What a teammate!
Catherine O’Neill, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge.
“I’ve been a member of Team Bridge for about 6 months.  I love the camaraderie and watching new runners find strength through running!  And most of all I love the fun.  When training for a race, it’s easy to get wrapped up in training plans, mileage, and target pace, but when I run with Back on My Feet, it’s about people, not numbers.  Thanks Team Bridge for making my morning runs full of smiles, support, and fun!”
Terry J., Residential Member, The Bridge
Terry joined the Back on My Feet team at The Bridge in December 2011. He completed his first 5K at the Hotcake Hustle in Addison, Texas. Terry recently accepted a position with the Omni Convention Center. Go Terry!

David R., a single father of two, came to the Dallas LIFE shelter in January 2011 after losing his job with Bank of America. David ran his first mile with Back on My Feet in February 2011. Today, he is self-sufficient with a job, a home, a car and renewed self-confidence.

After David began the Back on My Feet program in February 2011, he maintained 90% attendance, raced in local 5K and 15Ks, and attended all Back on My Feet courses provided. David enjoyed “Financial Literacy: Intro to Banking,” “Financial Literacy: Understanding your Credit” (both instructed by ACE Cash Express) and the “Skills to Succeed” resume building workshop from Accenture.

Using his resume, revamped from the “Skills to Succeed” workshop, David interviewed with the Marriott Suites Market Center in July 2011 and was offered a position in room service. After accepting the position, he began to save his money due to the instruction provided by ACE Cash Express.

In November 2011, David and his children, Whitney and David Jr., moved out of the Dallas LIFE shelter into a home of their own. Removed from the shelter and his teammates, David continued to run. Using running as a stress reliever, David could “leave it all on the pavement.”

In January 2012, David paid cash for a used car because he knew interest rates were not for him (thanks ACE Cash Express!) And he is now cross-trained at the Marriott in room service, banquets and restaurant service positions. He continues to be a rising star for the Marriott and will be recognized for his accomplishments at the Back on My Feet Dallas-Fort Worth Birthday Bash as Residential Member of the Year – Dallas LIFE on February 13,2012.

While David’s accomplishments over the past year are remarkable, it is his leadership and heart that will be recognized on February 13th. During the 2011 holidays, David took time to babysit, feed and care for a family during a teammate’s relapse.  Proving once again, that Back on My Feet not only teaches “the skills to succeed” but instills in those experiencing homelessness the motivation and confidence to become valued members of our community.

Let’s start 2012 with a great run of outstanding individuals fighting the perception of homelessness one step at a time! Ryan Harms, Tom Boone and Elysa Nelson (also Non-Residential Member of the year!) have been recognized as Non-Residential Members of the month for January. Check out all of our Members of the Month below! And remember… double hugs are no joke!

Ryan Harms, Non-Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
“It may be only for three hours a week, and it may not always give us a full picture of our Residential Members lives, but we at least get a peek in the window of their lives, and have the privilege of sharing in part of their story. I can’t tell you all how many times I hear how thankful our Residential Members are for the love and community we show them in the morning.  I think sometimes I forget how wonderful a listening ear can be… but they do not.”
Ricky R., Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Ricky has been an integral member of the Dallas LIFE team since October 2011. Having lost more than 50 pounds in a few short months, Ricky walks to be a part of the team and to improve his health.
Tom Boone, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“It’s a great way to start the day! My favorite part of running with Back on My Feet is the camaraderie.”
James T., Residential Member, Salvation Army
James, a Vietnam veteran, joined Back on My Feet in November 2011. James worked as a Greyhound bus driver for more than 20 years but now enjoys the challenge of running with his teammates. James completed the Hotcake Hustle on January 14, 2012.
Elysa Nelson, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“Back on My Feet has taught me how much room my heart still has left to love others. When I joined BoMF, I was worried I was over committing and that I wouldn’t be able to make as much time for the organization as I wanted. But I quickly learned that my heart had plenty of room for the amazing Residential and Non-Residential Members, and the friendships I have gained are incredible.”
Patrick R., Residential Member, The Bridge
Patrick joined the Back on My Feet team at The Bridge in December 2011. He completed his first 5K at the Hotcake Hustle on January 14, 2012. “Back on My Feet means being a productive person.”

How to prevent burning out or fading away as a Back on My Feet volunteer

You volunteer because you are motivated, you want to make a difference, and frankly because it feels good.  Helping others is a good thing right?  But just like in the case of food or exercise, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.  Time spent volunteering can became a stressor when we are feeling overwhelmed and unable to meet the constant demands placed on us at work, home or even in our training.

How then can we be that superstar volunteer when life is busy?  Author James Robbins suggests 4 steps to maintain harmony and balance.

  1. Reconnect with your purpose.  As a team member of Back on My Feet, you are helping to provide a safe and positive environment for all team members.  Just by showing up you are enhancing leadership skills, encouraging and motivating others and modeling responsibility and dedication.  Our team members trust you, and they appreciate that you are there for them.
  2. Beware of emotionally draining situations.  Volunteering can have tremendous payback in terms of making a difference, but sometimes it is emotionally draining.  It’s important that you have a friend to talk to when you find yourself in these situations.  “We all need a help sometimes with perspective” Robbins states, “even if it’s just a reminder of our boundaries or acknowledgement of the difficulty of the situation.”
  3. Think for the long term, and take a break.  It’s ok to take a few days, a week or even a month off from your role as a volunteer.  We want you to stick around for the long run, and a few weeks off may be just what you need to come back into your role feeling refreshed.  We’ll be happy to see you when you come back!
  4.  Know that we appreciate YOU!  Your smiles, hugs and energy breathe life into the team.  You make a difference each week just by being you and for that we thank you, from the bottom of our heart.

Life is a balancing act. Juggling work and play, friends and family, heart and soul, and mind and body can be challenging. We’re so glad that being a member of Back on My Feet is a part of your repertoire.

- Jennifer Kimble, jennifer@backonmyfeet.org

Happy Holidays! Let’s celebrate some people that represent the spirit of Back on My Feet this season. Our incredible Non-Residential dedication is exemplified through Kristy Ladner, Bill Borowski and Betsy Orton. Way to go guys! And our Residential Members of the month are some of our newest teammates. Lenard B., James F., Larry S. Larry S. has been with Team Bridge since July 2011 and is as reliable as a clock for Back on My Feet runs. You go guys!

Bill Borowski, Non-Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
“I feel a sense of family and looking out for each other when I attend. The non-judgmental environment is very special as I know it is for the residents. We all face challenges and hard times-it’s great that there is an organization like Back on My Feet that gives people that second chance and sense of hope.”
Lenard B., Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Lenard is a new Residential Member addition to the Dallas LIFE team and enjoys the morning runs, attends all program courses and looks forward to running his first 5K in January.
Betsy Orton, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“The people are my favorite part of running with Back on My Feet. There are few things I’ll get up that early for, but I gladly do it to get up and run with Team Salvation Army. Those are my favorite days of the week! I get to spend time 3-4 times a week with a fantastic group of friends I might not have met any other way. Seeing the Residential Members achieve goals, get jobs, move out of the shelter, and literally get back on their feet is amazing and something that is great to even be a small part of.”
James F., Residential Member, Salvation Army
James recently celebrated three months sober with his Salvation Army team in December and looks forward to running his first 5K in January. Way to go James!
Kristy Ladner, Non-Residential Member, Team Bridge
“I love starting my day with lots of hugs and saying the serenity prayer … it’s really impossible to have a bad day after such a positive start and a good reminder as to what is truly important! I have enjoyed seeing the residential members setting goals and being motivated to make significant changes in their situations. So many of them have a clear plan for what they want and how they are going to get it that it has been an inspiration for me to do the same in my life.”
Larry S., Residential Member, Team Bridge
Larry, a dedicated Residential Member with Team Bridge, has shown a commitment to the program very rarely seen, he has maintained more than 90% attendance. Keep up the great work Larry!