How do you fundraise during a global pandemic? The short answer: with a lot of prayer, plenty of hope, and a smile. Honestly: I don't actually know, but here we go... Last year 195 of you helped me raise a whopping $10,353! My heart is is still full. 2020 is not 2019 as we’ve all learned. The losses and devastation from COVID-19 continue to mount, each of us touched and changed. That said, I hope you understand I have to try.
Let’s start with what is Back on My Feet? We’re a national non-profit that helps save the lives of people experiencing homelessness and battling addiction right here in Atlanta. At the Salvation Army shelter (Team Sally) most of our teammates are veterans going through a substance abuse recovery program. We combat homelessness through the power of running, community support and essential employment & housing resources. We meet at 5:45 am on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and at 7:30am on Saturdays. We circle up, say the Serenity Prayer together, and off we go - running in the rain, snow, or shine, and have mastered running hills in heat and humidity 🙂 COVID-19 kept us from running together for 16 long weeks, but we're a family so we figured out how to continue to show up for one another to support & love each other (see pictures below for how we got creative during that time)! We are back to our morning runs now - masked & distanced, but together again and for that we are so grateful.
Over the years I’ve explained the life changing events that I have witnessed: members earning their GED, diplomas, certifications, gainful employment, new housing, being reunited with their family, sobriety, and yes - running firsts and PRs! Every Monday, because #NeverMissAMonday, I post a team selfie on social media which means that you too see members on their first run, as well as experiencing all of their firsts! It’s been 7 years since BOMF became a part of who I am and therefore I feel a calling to do my part in keeping our program alive and well to help as many men and women as we possibly can, even if that means fundraising during a global pandemic. I've never seen more people experiencing homelessness in Atlanta, and quite frankly in Smyrna, than I have the past few months. Have you? Now more than ever our members need your help. I believe in this program so strongly that I jumped at the opportunity to again sit on the Board, knowing that means that I am personally accountable for $5,000.
Every year we host one event: a 5K called Meaningful Miles. It’s not the distance that is remarkable, but the program itself and the fact that ALL proceeds stay right here, local to Atlanta. Sadly this year it will be virtual, but that is what’s best for our community and we understand that. How lucky we are to still have our beloved community.
Dollars raised through your generosity ensure that we can continue to help the homeless population get back on their feet-- literally and figuratively.
Thank you for believing in us!
To give you an idea of the impact your donation could have:
$5 can purchase a public transportation card to ensure safe and reliable transportation to and from work.
$10: Can provide a member's first technical shirt to prepare them for running and starting their journey to independence.
$25 can provide new running shoes for members
$50 can provide new winter gear for members
$100 can provide job skills training programs to assist members in finding employment
$250 can provide a bed (or other furnishings) in a new home, offering rest after a long day’s work.
$500 can provide enrollment fees, materials, tools and books to go back to school to learn a trade or begin a professional career.
$1000 provides a security deposit and first month’s rent to help a member secure a home.
$2500 covers the cost of 25 members to go through our computer literacy or financial literacy program to ensure success after employment.