BENEFITING: LIVING Ministry Incorporated
ORGANIZER: LIVING Ministry Incorporated
EVENT: Pittsburgh Marathon 2016
EVENT DATE: May 01, 2016
I've never known true hunger... And I'm willing to bet the majority of you haven't either. Until you have gone days without food with no money in your pocket, no person to turn to and no place to lay your head, you do not know the kind of hunger I am talking about.
For reasons I will never understand, I was born into a blessed life- with parents who believed in me, who raised me with love and who provided me with the monetary means needed to succeed. It wasn't until I left my comfortable home in Northwest PA that my eyes were opened to the unpublicized, devastating truth: this wasn't the case for everyone.
Last year, I worked in Frederick, MD. Being I only lived 45 minutes north west of DC, you can imagine the range of people I met: the affluent, blue collar workers, middle class, government officials, you name it- they lived in Frederick. But the people who stood out most to me were the people who lived two blocks away- outside the homeless shelter, on the unforgiving sidewalk cement.
They never said anything. Occasionally someone had a cup out, asking for spare change. But the every day citizen, who is also trying to make ends meet, would continue on their way, running to the next task, next place, next problem. No one really noticed the people outside unless it was getting dark, and they maybe felt uncomfortable walking by. No one talked about how sad it was or asked what they could do. And it made me wonder, what is their story? How did they get to this point? Why was I so afraid to ask?
My answer: it makes me uncomfortable to admit how much I have and how little I give.
In my days of fundraising (which I will get to) the most common reason I heard for someone not wanting to give was "they will just buy drugs with it- that's why they are there in the first place". Well, I cannot deny that some may do that, but what about the ones we can make a difference for? What if I told you the hard truth- that the majority of these people come from families of poverty; Children born into circumstances that they may never recover from, innocent children who may discover our next big cure or who may start a grand foundation but who instead limp by, with no support and eventually join a like group of people I spent each day walking past in Frederick. Yes, I too was one of those every day citizens who walked right by.
I believe God gives us gifts to use for good. My parents taught me to find someone I love and run with it. Which is what I did... I actually physically ran. I use to do it for myself, to win, to be the best but one day that wore off. I had a "mid-20s" crisis as I call it and questioned what my purpose was? Why was I going through the motions? Is this all life is?
I won't bore you with the rest, but it dawned on me that my purpose, OUR PURPOSE, is to use our skills and passions to make a difference. God gave me a strange love for running to raise awareness of poverty and homelessness, Which is why I write this letter, in hopes that I can even reach a few people through running the Pittsburgh Marathon for Living Ministry.
Below is a link that explains Living Ministry, an organization built on the principle that we can make a difference for those facing poverty.
If you feel so called to support this organization, I have also included my fundraising page. Any little bit counts, whether it is passing this message on to raise awareness, giving a small monetary value or praying for this journey- I appreciate it all!