• Back on My Feet Boston Birthday Breakfast

    June 13, 2011

    Happy birthday to Back on My Feet Boston!!!

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    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!

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    I met the Quincy BOMF team bright and early at Father Bill’s Place, and then we drove into Boston together for the breakfast.

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    Woot!! Father Bill’s team representing!

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    Sitting with my team at breakfast instead of being part of the “media” (like I was last year) felt incredible. I loved it!

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    For breakfast, we enjoyed fresh fruit and hot coffee.

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    As well as scrambled eggs, bacon, and potatoes.

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    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.

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    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?

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    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.

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    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.

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    { 44 comments… read them below or add one }

    chloe @ 321delish June 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    looks like such a great event! Running is great. Running for a cause is even greater :)


    Kim @ girlevolving June 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I think it’s really great that you’ve gotten involved with BOMF. I’ve read about them in articles and really respected the work they’ve done. Thanks for showing us a bit of an inside look!


    Ali June 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Aw so great that you were able to go to the breakfast! I (think) I remember you debating staying in NYC an extra day or going back so you could attend the event, and I think it’s nice that you went. Sounds like it was a winner!

    (Though you can come back to NYC now…)


    Ali G. June 13, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    This sounds like such a wonderful program. I’m a runner and live about a mile away from the location in Quincy. If you need volunteers, I’d love to join the team.


    Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) June 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    BOMF seems like such an amazing organization- I need to look into whether or not they have a chapter here in D.C. I would love to get involved, even though I’m not the fastest or most experienced runner (in terms of running races).
    -Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter)


    Marisa @ Loser for Life June 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    So nice to be a part of such a special organization, Tina! What a great way to start the day!


    Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday June 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I love the idea of the BOMF organization. It sounds like it’s a great way to get the participants motivated to get back on track with their lives.


    Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet June 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    What an awesome organization! As a runner, I totally understand the need to run in order to think and solve my problems. It’s my time to focus on me, and hearing that other people discovered this same feeling is amazing :) Keep up the awesome work, BOMF, and you too Tina!


    Holly @ The Runny Egg June 13, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    I’m glad you’re a part of such a great organization! I never would have heard about it otherwise.


    Chelsea @ Go Chelsea Go! June 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    What a great event! I’m also a runner who likes to use my runs to work out problems–so I completely understand where Steve is coming from!


    Angela June 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Aww this made me smile! What a great breakfast for such an important cause. That speech from Steve sounds like it was quite the story. Thanks for introducing us to the organization, Tina!


    Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife June 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    beautifully written! I think it is so neat to be involved in such a great organization :)


    Meghan @ StruggleMuffins June 13, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Great post and what a great organization, it must feel so good to be a part of something that has such a positive impact. If you’re looking for more volunteers, I live not too far from Quincy and would be happy to help.


    Becca Hargis June 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing the story of Steve. I got a little misty eyed just reading the post myself. Running is awesome and can truly help one create a better life!


    Claire June 13, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    What a great organization. I wish we had something like that here!


    Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food June 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Looks like such a wonderful organization! I’m sure it felt nice to be part of the team! :-)


    Casey (The Hippie Health Nut) June 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    What a great thing to be a part of! P.S. I love how ALL hotel fruit is cut the same. LOL


    Ryan @ EatSaveTravel.com June 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    I have to agree with Meghan above. Props to you for getting involved in such an amazing organization. If they ever need an extra hand, be sure to contact me.


    Cait's Plate June 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    It seems like an awesome organization – I’ve never even heard of it before you joined so thanks for shedding some light on it and allowing us a sneak peek into all the good things they do! :)


    Lori June 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I really wish they had a chapter in Detroit! I would love to be a part of this.


    Amanda Jewell June 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    This is so great; I don’t run anymore, but it was definitely a cathartic break from the daily stress of life.


    Jessica @ Sushi & Sit-Ups June 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Sounds like an amazing event and organization. Such a great way to build inner and outer strength!


    Sarah June 13, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Looks like a fun morning! This organization sounds fantastic.


    Mary @ Bites and Bliss June 13, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    What a wonderful event! It would have been so inspiring to hear their stories first hand.


    Chad @ thebreakupnote June 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Looks like a good time- and I couldn’t agree more with your statements abt running. It really doesn’t discriminate.


    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    That’s an awesome cause and I love the message and so cool you participated with them again this year!


    Heather June 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    BOMF sounds like a great organization. I like that it’s not just about handouts. Wish there was one in my hometown, I would participate there in a heartbeat.


    Andrea (Run. Learn. Repeat.) June 13, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I loved that last paragraph on how running doesn’t discriminate. Very true! Sounds like such a good organization to be involved with!


    becca (bellebottoms) June 13, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    what a beautiful post! I love what BOMF has done in your life! I’m sure there are many many cool things you’ve learned from this!


    VeggieGirl June 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I love running but I think I have weak knees, if I wear heels at work or do a lot of treadmill I find my knees hurt :(


    Nicole Gomez June 13, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    I am choking up just reading this. So inspirational!!


    Abby June 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    This is so cool! What a great organization to be a part of!


    katie @ KatieDid June 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    This organization is great, wish I could be a part of it also. It’s great to see your passion for running reaching the lives of other people. Way to go!


    jill June 13, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I was at the breakfast this morning as well! I got choked up a couple of times. What a great mission and powerful testament to the human spirit! A question..how many days a week do you run with the group? I am thinking about joining a running team in support of these men…..


    Tina June 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    @jill: I run once a week with the Father Bill’s team.


    Amy @ love4living.com June 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I love this organization but especially Father Bills place. As I have written about on my blog, my journey to sobriety was a long one. I have actually been Father Bill’s place before, and it really does amazing things for a lot of people.


    Martin Potter June 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Hi Tina,

    Great post and I was also there this morning… wonderful event, eh, and always good to hear Anne speaking. If you fancy it then my report is here – http://www.cheekyrunning.com/2011/06/suits-and-running-shoes-boston-back-on.html

    Funnily enough I also went to Trader Joes afterwards but to the Cambridgeport one.. love that place!

    Keep up the great work!

    ~ Martin
    Twitter @CheekyRunning


    Tina June 13, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    @Martin Potter: Nice recap! I loved hearing Anne speak this morning too!


    Hannah June 13, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Wow, look at how yellow those eggs are! Yolky goodness!


    Khushboo June 14, 2011 at 12:46 am

    That last paragraph gave me goosebumps- so true! Running can simultatenously give you a sense of both belonging and independence! I am so fortunate that I actually enjoy the sport- it really is wonderful!


    Molly @ RDexposed June 14, 2011 at 7:03 am

    What a wonderful event idea!


    Stephanie @The Travelling Tastebuds June 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    It sounds like a great program! Good for you for being so involved :)


    Shana Powell June 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I think it’s so great that there is a program that not only gives you life skills, but gives you a second chance at life. Kudos to all the residents, volunteers, and participants. The event looks beautiful! What a great way to celebrate success!


    Back on My Feet June 15, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Such a great recap on a great morning! Thank you, Tina!


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