BENEFITING: Homefront, Inc.
Imagine being 7 years old and homeless. This is the average age of a homeless person in Mercer County and summertime means facing dangerous streets, being hungry most days and certainly missing out of any kind of summer “fun” most of us are accustomed to.
So a little background as to how and why I am asking for your support in sponsoring several children for summer camp at Homefront and supporting the homeless children here in Mercer County. Most of you have heard me say, Ironman Lake Placid is my 140.6 retirement party (for now…). I took some time off of having any racing goals the past 3 years (with having our handsome and audacious Parker of course…) and for some odd reason I decided that trying to qualify for Ironman World Champs would be my new adventure for 2016. Go Big or Go Home RIGHT? I mean, I have always been a middle-of-the-pack gal in long distance triathlon, so qualifying for World Champs seems reasonable right? That’s the idea I want Parker, as well as any child, to understand. Set a goal, work hard, surround yourself with the right people and make it happen…No Matter What…Make it happen. I’ve been inspired by my friends who live this daily.
At the start of the year, I set a goal to find adventure, take (smart) risk, grow mentally & physically, strive to become a better version of myself, set a good example for Parker and most importantly Give Back.
“the purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Eleanor Roosevelt
So, there it is. July 24th, I will toe the starting line at Ironman Lake Placid with 2,500 other participants. I will be racing with some amazing talent, I call friends, in my age group and I couldn’t be more excited to see what my body and my mind can accomplish.
So why Homefront? I recently read a book I highly recommend by and about Jimmy Wayne called, A Walk to Beautiful. It’s a real life story of a country music star, Jimmy Wayne, who grew up homeless and bouncing in and out of the foster care system. It opened my eyes to the horrendous childhood these children are faced with and offered little to no hope, consistent care, love or support. Luckily for him, there was an elderly couple that took him in and “changed every cell in his body”. That and his faith in God, changed his trajectory in life. Jimmy now uses his platform to raise awareness and support for these children.
So, this is my platform to passionately ask you to consider making a donation to help send multiple homeless children in our community to summer camp, through HOMEFRONT. At the Homefront Summer Camp, these kids will receive the following they otherwise would not see:
• Two full meals (breakfast & lunch)
• Academic enrichment to mitigate summer “learning loss”
• FUN, Recreational activities to keep them off the streets
Thank you in advance for your support. I am looking to reach the goal of sending 5 kids to camp for the last 4 weeks of summer ($2,700). Together, we can do this! Think Big. Dream Big. This will be the most impactful race for me knowing this is only the beginning to help some well deserving children.
Any contribution, no matter how big or small is welcome and appreciated. As dt+n, our next goal is to get these kids trained for a local kids race! More to come…
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Much love, Michelle
PS You can learn more about Homefront’s mission to break the cycle of poverty in central NJ @ www.homefrontnj.org . Their scope of work is tremendous and summer camp is one aspect of what they do.
A few more statistics: • 70% of kids living on the streets report a history of physical or sexual abuse. • The % of NJ adolescents experiencing mental health distress increased 143%; children can bounce from home to home, then to foster care and unable to function independently, sometimes on the verge of suicide. • They sometimes go days without food; and sometimes the one meal a day comes from a free meal at school • Substance abuse is inevitable for the homeless youth • Teen pregnancy is high among the homeless youth