By Lori Austin, LCSW
So excited, once again to think about empowering those who struggle with homelessness to gain independence via RUNNING for Back on My Feet (BoMF).
For me being an athlete throughout my whole life and running in my adult life has had enormous benefits. It has kept me moving forward through my own personal traumas, losses and acceptance of my own illnesses.
I have found grace and through this grace I can share it with others. Grace then comes back ten fold through service. I have never been homeless but I have struggled as most of us have in our lives.
It has taken me a long time to embrace who I am learning to love the struggle and my beautiful gifts. Growing up with illness around me as a little girl, coping with my own and facing losses of two brothers in adulthood taken too fast. Then seeing my beautiful parents leave this earth via cancer and Alzheimer’s. I am where I am today through all of this. The gift of international travel blessed me life in recent years as a social worker where I found a true voice after years of being a caretaker of my family members.
Lightening Larry was born in England out of a joke with colleagues, (It was an accent thing with my name, Lori. Has anyone seen Larry? Who is Larry?). He has come to represent a superhero sharing light and kindness to the world.
It is a true honor and blessing to simply run and raise money for BoMF at the London Marathon in April 2018 where Lightening Larry can go back and spread light.
The volunteers of BoMF share their time with members at 5:30 am three times a week running to help them build confidence and move forward with their lives. After they make a commitment to themselves and BoMF, the runners gain access to job training and housing. This occurs in 12 major cities in the United States. I have chosen to run London Marathon which helps raise money for new chapters in new cities in the United States. Incredible!!
Learn about the origins of BoMF here.