Happy birthday to Back on My Feet Boston!!!
This morning, I had the pleasure of celebrating this milestone with members of the BOMF Boston community at a Birthday Breakfast, which was held at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. It was a morning of celebration, inspiration, and a chance to applaud the many accomplishments of members, volunteers, and supporters, who have changed lives through the program.
Last year, I attended this same event, but I wasn’t nearly as involved with the organization, so this morning’s breakfast meant so much more to me. I’m not going to lie, I got a little choked up during it!
I met the Quincy BOMF team bright and early at Father Bill’s Place, and then we drove into Boston together for the breakfast.
Woot!! Father Bill’s team representing!
Sitting with my team at breakfast instead of being part of the “media” (like I was last year) felt incredible. I loved it!
For breakfast, we enjoyed fresh fruit and hot coffee.
As well as scrambled eggs, bacon, and potatoes.
Vic Acosta, Executive Director for BOMF, kicked-off the event by welcoming everyone, saying a few words, and then introducing Anne Mahlum, the Founder and President of Back on My Feet.
Anne told the audience that the Boston BOMF teams have covered close to 9,000 miles and volunteers have contributed over 5,500 hours. Over 100 shelter residents have been served, with 17 attaining permanent housing, 45 receiving job training, and another 18 obtaining employment. Pretty amazing for a single year, right?
We also heard from Steve Karagiozis, a current BOMF member, who has quite literally gotten back on his feet. Throughout his life, Steve struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, but with the help of BOMF and Alcoholics Anonymous, he has been sober for 18 months now. Steve said he once used to run from his problems, but now he uses running to fix his problems by helping him think more clearly and make better decisions. At the end of his speech, Steve said BOMF has helped make him “the epitome of potential.” (This is the part where I got choked up.)
The event concluded by thanking each of Boston’s six different team leaders, both resident and non-resident.
Participating in BOMF every week for the past four months has showed me that this organization is so much more than just running. It’s about giving back and helping others. At the same time, however, BOMF is not about handouts. It’s a program that you get what you give, so residents earn the right for a second chance (e.g. job training, permanent housing, etc.) by waking up three mornings every week to run.
Running doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter who you are. Running can make you feel amazing and help you find potential in yourself. It helps people feel loved, respected, and excited about themselves. Back on My Feet is an organization that I truly proud to be part of.