Sunday, April 8, 2018

Back on My Feet revisited

The 56 Frickin' Miles blog began when I decided to run the Comrades ultramarathon in South Africa and wanted to draw attention to Sharp Dressed Man.  Sharp Dressed Man is, however, just one of several organizations with which I have been involved that provides some type of assistance to individuals who are trying to get themselves back into a community and/or improve their chances of improving their lives.

Yesterday, I was at an event at which we challenged students at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School to think about what it means to practice business with humanity in mind.  One of the students is a runner and is actively involved in a variety of volunteer activities including thread.  I have no doubt that when she becomes a business leader she will practice business with humanity in mind and she keeps humanity in mind in all she does in her life.

She indicated that she was intrigued about Back on My Feet (one of the other organizations that works to end addiction and homelessness) but that she did wonder if running was what individuals in facilities designed to help them make a transition back to the community really needed.

Running is a big part of what Back on My Feet is known for, with volunteers meeting residents of the facilities with whom it partners at 5:30 three days a week to run from 1-4 miles.   Running is a great activity for learning about how to set goals, how to keep going through difficulty, and how the experience of achieving long-term goals gives an emotional lift.  But running is not all the organization provides.  Those members from the partner facilities who attend most of the workouts are eligible for additional services including financial literacy, opportunities to use networks for job and housing placement, and expungement services when needed.

So, while I will always be a runner and I think running is an activity that can help an individual grow in so many ways, the organization Back on My Feet does not just focus on running.  It is a holistic program designed to complement other activities that the members have going on to make their lives better so that they can, in turn, help to make the communities in which they live better.  I hope that anyone who is interested and lives in one of the cities the organization serves will take some time to find out about it.  

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