Back on My Feet

Every Ragnar Relay designates a charity and raises money for that charity. The organization associated with this year’s Ragnar Relay Chicago is called Back on My Feet, and it strives to help homeless people by promoting self-sufficiency.

Founded by Anne Mahlum in 2007, Back on My Feet is a nonprofit organization that promotes the self-sufficiency of those experiencing homelessness by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. Back on My Feet (BoMF) does not provide food nor does it provide shelter, but instead provides a community that embraces equality, respect, discipline, teamwork and leadership. All members – regardless of race, education or socioeconomic status – join together to move their own lives forward as well as the lives of their teammates.

BoMF is a 6-9 month program that works with individuals living in homeless facilities. Teams are formed at our partner facilities, where the foundation of BoMF is laid through dedication to running. After 30 days in our program, each member who maintains 90% attendance moves to the Next Steps phase. Next Steps enables members to move towards self-sufficiency through educational and job training opportunities. Additionally, each member has the opportunity to earn $1,250 in financial aid to assist in their efforts toward self-sufficiency.

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Running has been good for me in so many ways. I think it’s an interesting idea to use the benefits of running to help people in tough situations gain confidence and get back on their feet.

As you’re reading this post on Friday, I might be driving to Madison or our team might already be running. We’re scheduled to start at 9:30 am on Friday in Madison and run until we reach the finish in Chicago, however long that takes.

I will probably tell you about other organizations affiliated with races as time goes on. I did not choose to run Ragnar because of Back on My Feet, but I do feel good about contributing toward their efforts. There are some races that I’ve gotten involved with specifically because of where the money goes. Let’s face it, I enjoy running races, so it’s a win-win.

Does raising money for a good cause factor in to your race selections or other events that you choose to become involved with?

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