Posts Tagged Member Updates

Helping Up Mission’s Members of the Month: Mike and Jewel

Mike B. joined Back on My Feet just two months ago and has already accumulated 50 miles  His best moment with Back on My Feet so far was completing his first 3 miler.  While he says his greatest challenge when running is his breathing, he continues to aim high to achieve his goal of completing the half-marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival.  However, before he runs that race, he plans to run the The Sneaks Come Out at Night.  He will surely have plenty of support from his teammates.  When he runs he enjoys talking to his teammate, Misha, and thinking about all types of things, like what the day ahead of him holds.

Teammate and friend, Misha, says, “Although Mike is a beginner runner he rises to every challenge like a pro and after he catches his breath he’s smiling! That’s what makes running side by side with him so enjoyable. I’ve seen Mike make great strides in a short amount of time of working at his running. He takes it very seriously, even going to extra runs at CP on Monday nights. What first struck me about Mike is how grateful he is to have someone push him farther. He has a lot of untapped potential.”

Jewel B.joined Back on My Feet in April 2011 and has enjoyed the process of starting her day off in a positive way by getting up to run and making new friends.  During those early morning runs, she thinks about what she wants to eat after the run.  Her next race is the Baltimore Running Festival Half-Marathon.

Team leader, Rob, says, “”I think Jewel is amazing for traveling over 30 minutes each way to come to our morning runs! She has one of the longest commutes in all of Back on My Feet, but shows up with a smile and ready to run. She has also helped in bringing lots of food donations to the missions. I was lucky enough to be with Jewel on part of her recent journey in Philly where she ran 100 miles in 24 hours. She truly is an inspiration to us all!”

MCVET‘s Members of the Month: Sean and Paul

Sean O. joined Back on My Feet in May 2012 and has already accomplished a lot.  He has run 50 miles and completed a long run with Paul; the long run was his greatest accomplishment.  His greatest challenge has been remaining confident and not quitting.  When he runs, he thinks about anything and everything.  He even tells jokes on the run, earning him the nickname “Sarcastic Sean.”  In the next 3 months, he is looking forward to his first race with the team. He’ll be at The Sneaks Come Out at Night, either completing his first race or cheering on fellow BoMF teammates.

Paul D. joined Back on My Feet in July 2010 and has had tons of great moments.  Some of his best moments include; seeing his first MCVET running partner, Carlos, graduate from Baltimore County Fire Department’s Fire-Rescue Academy, the morning circle, and  for him personally, completing his first half-marathon.  Just like his fellow member of the month, Sean, Paul thinks about everything on his runs.   Although he usually tries to enjoy the moment and the company of his fellow Back on My Feet runners, his mind sometimes wanders and he thinks about his busy family life.  Next up on his racing agenda, is the Baltimore Running Festival Marathon which would be his first marathon!

On Saturday, January 29th, Back on My Feet Chicago took part in the Freezing Lake 5k and ½ Marathon at Montrose Harbor.  Despite some late logistical changes due to permitting requirements, the race went off without a hitch.  Residential and Non-residential members from all three teams braved the elements to participate in the 5k, with some (or most) even running a bit too far after the turn-around sign was unfortunately lost in the wind.

Saturday also marked a historic day in Back on My Feet Chicago history, as the first BOMF residential members completed a half-marathon.  After two months of training, five members of the St. Leonard’s team successfully completed their very first half-marathon.  Congratulations to Michael Williams, Elton Mitchell, Keith Allen, Domingo Perez, and Ramiro Rodriguez!

Bryson Alexander of Team Vets (New England Center for Homeles Veterans) found after returning from service in Iraq he did not like heat any longer.  This prompted him to move from his home state of Florida to the Boston area.  The ex-Marine who served four years and in active duty also found that his drinking lifestyle was taking him nowhere.

“I had given up on myself completely.  I found myself in a VA program which led me to the New England Center for Homeless Veterans in Boston.”

Once he was at Vets he got accustomed to the bunk beds and the group living but wanted more.  He had dreams of living alone and going to school.  He needed a positive outlet.  That’s when he found Back on My Feet.  He had always loved running when he was a Marine and now with such a motivating group he felt accountable and part of something that could move him forward.

Bryson is philosphical about his situation and those of his teammates, “We’re not bad people.  We’ve just lost our way.  Back on My Feet helps create a way.”

Bryson is preparing to enter Lesley College at the end of January and will be moving into his own place at the start of February.  He wants to stay with team Vets and loves that New England has four seasons.  “The hardest part of Back on My Feet is running in such extreme cold.  But it’s so easy to run with this group.”

The Lawson House Team wraps up the year with new members and impressive mileage. More than a few on our team have received their 50 mile medals while one member hit his 100 mile mark, earning a Timex watch! With temperatures dropping some mornings below 10, we haven’t seen a drop in attendance; even taking on new members in the past month! With the holiday’s lighting up the city, BOMF Chicago brought the Joy of the season by caroling at the Warren Barr Pavilion Nursing Home earlier this month. We had a great turnout from resident and non-resident members alike as we dressed in Santa hats and sang carols to a number of floors. Members also enjoyed participating in the Santa Hustle, where the first snowfall of the season greeted runners dressed in Santa Outfits.  A Holiday Party at Mad River Grille rounded out the December events as members celebrated the holiday season together.  While the Lawson House Team started 3 1/2 short months ago, we have accomplished a lot and have created great friendships going into the New Year!  We can’t wait for 2011!

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Steve L. (DePaul) Moved into his own place
Eddie S. (DePaul) Moved into his own place
George A. (NJ) Started working at a Restaurant in South Philly
Calvin S. (RWA) Passed his forklift certification
Roland R. (Ridge) Began GED classes at EDSI
Doris B. (SD) Began GED classes at EDSI and moved into her own place
Troy S. (St. John’s) Started a second job doing sales for Comcast
DeJuan J. (NJ) Passed his forklift certification and began working with Trinity Staffing
Marie M. (SD) Enrolled in a class at Community College of Philadelphia
Jackie R. (SD) Taking GED classes at SELF
Alberta H. (SD) Taking GED classes at SELF
Christine M. (SD) Taking Computer classes at Honickman Learning Center

New Alumni:
Gennaro Harris, Kenny Jervey and Tarik Hill

Ho, Ho, Ho….December was a month of Santa, song and celebration for Team REST. With the Holiday season in full swing, Team REST pulled together and made the season bright and exciting. December started with an onslaught of Santas as we conquered the Santa Hustle 5k along with 3,000 other runners clad in Santa hats and beards. This was the first official 5k for Charles (32:13), Edwin (43:59), Greg (52:59), Ian (34:51) and Lee (40:44) who all had a great day in spite of the snowy conditions. Our veterans Billy (36:17), Percy (34:49), Jerel (26:12!) and Tony (38:06) continue to improve and managed to navigate through the slippery mess without any falls. Bruce sat this one out after discovering his Achilles heel doesn’t like slippery snow. Congrats to Bruce for listening to his body and making a smart decision – thank you for coming out despite the injury and standing in the cold snow to cheer on the team. After the race, everyone enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies. A big THANK YOU goes out to Corey and her husband who, in true Santa Claus fashion, showed up with a huge van to transport the team to and from the race. It was a wonderful surprise and much appreciated by everyone!

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We have bragging rights this month!  i) We have survived some bitter cold runs, sloshing through snow and sliding on ice.  ii) Michael was the first Chicago team member to reach 100 miles.  iii) Ramiro, Elton, Mingo, and Keith all surpassed 100 miles.  iv) Darren, Elton, and Ramiro all successfully completed their education programs.  v) Darren was accepted into machinery school.  vi) We have started training for a half marathon that takes place January 29.   vii) Maurice has lost over 10lbs.  viii) Javiar is approaching his 50 mile medal mark.  ix) Ramiro started a new job.

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Ed J. is a gentle giant.  Well over 6 feet tall and 200+ lbs he can be a quietly imposing individual.  That is until you get to know him.  Kindness and caring for the well being of others is evident in everything that Ed says and does.  His patience and understanding for what others are going through has set the tone for the Clean and Sober Streets team and his leadership by example keeps the CSS team together through the cold winter runs. Read more…

New Jerusalem had a very busy December! We welcomed new members Taleb, Nicole, Charlena, and Audrey. We added Callie to our non-rez squad and had some of our old favorite volunteers and old team leaders come back! Old in time volunteering and experience, not age!  Along with the new additions, our current residents had some awesome achievements!

Congrats to George for getting a job! George has been trying for months and kept walking all over Philadelphia to find a job and got one in South Philly! Doug has added some running into his morning walks to achieve his goals of losing weight and getting in shape. Nikki has put forth awesome effort and hit 50 miles! Along with Nikki in the 50 mile club we had Mitchell and Claude join her. Other achievements are Mohamed hitting 175 miles and Malik hitting 100 miles. Keep up the hard work! Read more…

Lately, we’ve had some significant accomplishments within Back on My Feet’s Brotherhood Mission running team, and most importantly we continue to grow closer as a team.  Pictured from left to right above: Luis, Liz, Andrew, and Angel joined new Team Leader to cheer on our fellow team members Stacy, Dan, Katie, Debbie, Rachelle, Deirdre, Barb, Ashley, JD, and Marcy who all ran either the ½ marathon or full. Congratulations to all our runners! Read more…