Posts Tagged residential member

The holidays have us cheering for joy! Joyous cheers for EIGHT members of the month! Congrats guys!

Steve Ward, Non-Residential Members, Dallas LIFE
“I love to run with Back on My Feet because of the opportunity to serve and run with others. I believe in the relationships we develop with the Residential Members and look forward to seeing them every week. The Residential Members help me more than what I can do for them. They are my family and I love them all.”
Adam, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Adam, a University of Nebraska alumni, is one of the most kind-hearted Residential Members at Dallas LIFE. He not only leads the pack in running, but will circle back to the walkers to ensure everyone’s safety on morning runs. Thanks for showing us how to be a team member Adam!
Lisa Tran, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“I love Back on My Feet because the organization is a perfect blend of what I feel most passionate about: building a better community by serving others and running! In the past few months of joining the Salvation Army team, I have met amazing people who inspire me to truly live out the Serenity Prayer.”
Mike, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Mike is amazing! He has such a positive attitude. Mike goes out of his way to help Back on My Feet staff and he loves donuts! How couldn’t you love Mike??
Abraham Lagmay, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“At first, I was uncertain that I could commit the time to volunteering at Back on My Feet with my own selfish reasons. As time went on, I began to realize how Back on My Feet continues to change the lives of Residential Members, including mine. Seeing someone who was in the depths of despair suddenly has hope for the future is a gift beyond words.  It has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me so far. I am proud to be a part of such an amazing organization.We are one big ‘human’ family!”
Sharon, Residential Member, The Bridge
Sharon has come back from great odds to rejoin her Back on My Feet family at The Bridge. She maintained 100% attendance in November and transitioned to the upstairs living facility. We are very proud of where Sharon is today and the depression she is fighting through walking every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!
Dr. Mike Cunningham, Non-Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
Dr. C, as he is so affectionately called by the Residential Members, has been a constant support of the brand new program at the VA. We are excited to have his support as Dr. C is the supervisor of the entire program. His early morning runs with the team are a huge endorsement of the program within the VA Hospital. Thank you Dr. C!
Raymond, Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
Raymond always pushes himself further and refuses to walk with the team. His determination is contagious and he is an inspiration to his teammates. He has a quirky and fun attitude with his Back on My Feet family. Way to go Raymond!

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!

October brings some cooler weather and some cool runners! Remember to congratulate these individuals for their hard work and dedication to running. If you can catch ‘em!

Melissa Repko, Non-Residential Members, Dallas LIFE
“I love Back on My Feet because it’s a great way to start the day. Each morning that I attend, I get a chance to spend time with teammates, sharing our stories and working toward our goals — whether they’re running-related or more personal. Back on My Feet has introduced me to a wonderful group of new friends. With each step of our run, I like to think we’re waking up Dallas, raising awareness and making the world a little brighter.”
Sonja, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Sonja is a single mother of one and came to Dallas LIFE after escaping a bad relationship. She has run two 5Ks in her two months with Back on My Feet and looks forward to starting her interviews with Back on My Feet hiring partners in Dallas. Sonja is an inspiration to all women!
Bob and Laura Thurman, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
Bob and Laura have grown close with the Salvation Army team and we are excited to recognize their dedication to our team of runners! Thanks Bob and Laura!
Randy, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Randy goes above and beyond the M/W/F morning runs. What can we say? He just loves Back on My Feet! Randy is a pleasure to be around and he encourages his fellow teammates. We are excited to honor his positive attitude with Member of the Month for October! Keep up the hard work Randy!
Sophia Zabaneh, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“Back on My Feet has changed my life in numerous ways. It gives me more appreciation for the blessings I have in my life. I leave morning runs thinking I sometimes get more out of this than I can ever give them back. We encourage each other, we befriend each other and we support each other. When one of us is having a rough morning and needs to slow down or stop to walk-  the other does the same. We talk about things going on in our lives and seek advice from each other forgetting the barrier that lies between us. Back on My Feet is a special place for all parties involved and I am honored to be apart of it.”
Gary, Residential Member, The Bridge
Gary is doing great with his training and always pushes himself. He always has a can do attitude and offers a positive attitude to his teammates. We just love his spirit!

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!

It has been a hot summer in Texas and even hotter morning runs for our dedicated team members! Let’s take some time to recognize their commitment to Back on My Feet in the summer heat!

David Kemerling, Non-Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
“I really enjoy meeting people and hearing their story.  I like to listen for ways to encourage others. Back on my Feet has encouraged me. Everyone I have met has really caused me to think about my life. The positive attitudes of everyone has been a real encouragement to me.”
Michelle, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Michelle, a Member of the Dallas LIFE team, knows what it’s like to fall and get back up again! Not the youngest of the group, Michelle has overcome many obstacles in her life and gives credit to BoMF for helping her through this difficult time. Keep up the hard work Michelle!
Darin Sloan, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“I have really enjoyed my time running with Back On MY Feet. I have made several new friends and running with new people in new places has renewed my love of running. Everyones positive attitude and enthusiasm has been very inspiring  and motivating to me. Good times! Thanks for letting me a part of such a great organization.”
Timothy, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Timothy was hesitant to join BoMF in March 2012 because of his weight. But leaving excuses behind, Timothy joined BoMF and has become an exemplary Member of the Salvation Army team. Committed, maintaining 90% attendance and walking as much as he can, Timothy’s dedication inspires us all!
Deanna Durham, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“I love that I get to speak with Residential Members throughout the week about their life’s experiences, where they’re from, their passions/desires, and their accomplishments/struggles. Back on My Feet has some of the most entertaining people I’ve ever met. It’s not all seriousness all the time. We have SO much fun! I’ve never laughed so hard with such an amazing group of people.”
Paul, Residential Member, The Bridge
Paul is a resilient man with a whole team of BoMF runners rooting for his success! Paul has on numerous occasions fought back from illness and hospitalization just to rejoin his team at The Bridge. And although Paul is no longer able to physically run with us in the mornings, we do admire his determination in taking steps to self-sufficiency! Keep up the great work Paul!

The following rock stars deserve cupcakes, hugs and lots of high fives for how awesome they are! Lauren, Teley, Jayda, Dale, Laurie and Latara are great examples of what Back on My Feet is all about, a great attitude and forward motion!

Lauren Rozanski, Non-Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
“I run with Back on My Feet, because it feels like family to me. I am continually amazed by the genuine care and love that the members of BoMF have for one another. I joined the organization as a way to serve my community and build relationships, but it has provided much more than that. The friendships I’ve made, support I’ve received, and lessons I’ve learned over the past year have been true blessings in my life.”
Teley, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Teley, a fantastic teammate, joined Back on My Feet in April 2012 and is currently enjoying the Back on My Feet program partner, H.I.S. Bridge Builders. Teley is enrolled in a five week course to get her back in the workplace with a certification in working with eye wear. Keep up the hard work Teley!
Jayda Ekundayo, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“I run with Back on My Feet to inspire and be inspired by real people that understand the importance of ‘community.’”
Dale, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Dale, an incredible teammate with a great attitude, served in the US military for 30 years! After suffering from a stroke, the doctors told him he would never walk again. Well, Dale takes delight in proving the doctors wrong every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with his Salvation Army teammates. He is currently interviewing with the Marriott and hopes to join the team as a Loss Prevention Officer. Way to go Dale! We are very proud of you!
Laurie Dias, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
I volunteer with Back on My Feet because of the way it makes me feel which is awesome. This past year some of my most memorable experiences have been helping Residential Members accomplish their goals whether it was their first 5k, 15k or just watching their self-confidence grow. I feel truly blessed to be part of such an amazing organization and I am so grateful for all the wonderful Residential and Non-Residential Members that have come into my life.”
Latara, Residential Member, The Bridge
Latara joined Back on My Feet in May 2012 and runs with Team Bridge. Having maintained 100% attendance, (you go girl!) Latara is quick to help others and has graduated from a walk to a run/walk with the goal of her first 5K in July 2012. We couldn’t be more excited about her progression through the Back on My Feet program! Go get it Latara!

This month’s recognized Members are not only great runners, but just have great attitudes!! These Members always have a smile on their face and a hug to offer a teammate. Encourage these Members through the month of May and we look forward to seeing them grow!

Jessica Killough, Non-Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
“The best running buddy is someone that encourages me to keep going and not stop. I enjoy being able to run with all my different teammates, as each of us add something unique to the team. I love the camaraderie and community that Back on My Feet provides. For me, BoMF is about sharing life together. I’ve made a new family and feel a fulfilled by them.” 
Dovie, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Dovie, always smiling and determined to run a little bit more, never ran before joining Back on My Feet and completed her first 5K on March 31st at the Jog with the Frog race in Fair Park. Dovie is known for her positive outlook on life, her willingness to help others and has attended all the required classes for Next Steps. Keep up the hard work Dovie!
Elana Carter, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
I imagine homelessness to be an overwhelming experience. The Residential Members continue to get up and move forward. They show up day after day, week after week. That provides context and perspective for the issues that I’m managing in my own life. I certainly like keeping up with James and Mary Ann. They embody the spirit of many of the Residential Members – a quiet commitment to show up, a willingness to show themselves and bring their A game.”
Mari Ann, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Mari Ann, a resident at the Salvation Army shelter, regularly assists Back on My Feet staff by not only helping instructors at monthly computer literacy classes, but even takes the time to instructs others! She has a great attitude, always up for more and brings a great attitude to any situation. Way to go Mari Ann!

Robert Sherburn, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
Aside from running, the Back on My Feet program to me simply represents an opportunity to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves as individuals. It’s difficult to articulate what I get out of the program really, because it’s not a thing, it’s a feeling, more of a sense of being. It’s a two way street of sorts, it’s mutual respect, it’s shared wisdom, it’s love, it’s kindness, friendships and relationships. It’s all the things that matter, and none of the things that don’t. So I try to put in as much as I can!  Show up, get involved, make a contribution, and see for yourself!”
Sonja, Residential Member, The Bridge
Sonja, a reserved Member of Team Bridge, ran her first 5K at The Man Run on May 2nd on the Katy Trail. While soft spoken at times, Sonja’s determination and dedication to Back on My Feet has not gone unrecognized. Sonja has an amazing attitude and attends as many Back on My Feet events as possible to show her support.
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!

Perhaps there is no marathon in the country — even the world — more sought after, admired, and feared than the legendary Boston Marathon. It’s no wonder that a few of our most passionate BoMF Boston Residential Members have subtly hinted at their wish to one day run the race. But the Boston Marathon? You have to qualify to get into that one. You need to be fast. Really fast. Or raise money. A lot of money. It’ll probably never happen. It’s probably better to set your sites on something smaller, easy to get into, right?

So imagine our delight when we were given the opportunity to provide entries into the 2012 Boston Marathon to a few (very) lucky BoMF Res Members thanks to our partnership with the John Hancock Boston Marathon Charity Bib Program, which supplied BoMF with a number of bibs to the 2012 race to use for fundraising.

This is the Boston Marathon. This is much bigger than 26.2 miles. The experience of training for and running a marathon is transcendental. When these guys cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon, they will have proven to themselves and to everyone that there’s nothing they can’t do. This will be the first of many more major finish lines of their lives, be it completing a degree, landing a secure job, or moving into permanent housing; all of which they’ll be working towards as they train for April 16. As we say at Back on My Feet, running is the perfect metaphor for life because hard work, dedication, and perseverance, do and eventually will pay off.

Over the next few months, we’ll be highlighting all of the runners on this year’s Back on My Feet Boston Marathon team, including the four Residential Members who will be lacing up on April 16: Austin Baker, Brian Doucette, Wahid Chaudhary, and Chris Hatton.

But we need your help getting them across the finish line! You can sponsor a runner, support the team, or get your company involved. Contact bridget@backonmyfeet.org for more information about supporting Back on My Feet’s Team Running Home or donate today!

Have a look at one team member, Austin Baker, as he learns he’ll be running in the 2012 Boston Marathon. “This is the happiest moment of my life.” Please help us get Austin and his teammates across the finish line. And stay tuned for more information on the team, the Residents, and the Non Res who will help get them there.

Apprehension, self-doubt, and fear were probably the first thoughts that came to Cathy Connell late last summer when a couple of fellow halfway house residents suggested that she join them to run with Back on My Feet’s team at St. Francis House. Cathy was already hard at work rebuilding her life and maintaining sobriety when her friends told her how much they enjoyed running with BoMF and convinced her to give it a try.

She had physical issues with her feet that precluded her from being able to run any substantial distances, but she came on board to give it a try nonetheless and it suited her just fine. She has been getting up at 4:30 a.m. and has been running and walking with BoMF Boston faithfully ever since. In fact, she has become such a stalwart that it’s hard now to think of a Team Saints/Boston Rescue Mission morning run starting without her.

Indeed, renewed confidence replaced any initial feelings of apprehension, self-doubt, and fear last month when Cathy reached a notable landmark as she joined more than a dozen other BoMF teammates to run in her first ever road race, the Baker Memorial 5K in South Boston.

Before the race she was beaming saying how she felt, “…wonderful, great.” She wasn’t kidding. When she crossed the finish line, she smiled from ear to ear. Her teammates greeted her with congratulatory hugs as did her very proud brother, who is an accomplished runner in his own right. She said it was an important thing to do because she didn’t want to let her friends down who got her to join BoMF and she didn’t want to let herself down.

Cathy is celebrating more than six months of sobriety and will be the first to tell you how running with Back on My Feet has increased her confidence and feeling of self-worth. In her own words, “I just feel like a new person.”

Cathy’s efforts, attitude, and accomplishments are everything we look for in a Back on My Feet teammate and we are delighted to name her our Resident Member of the Month.