I have been participating (“running” is not quite the right word!) in the Baltimore Running Festival since Helping Up Mission first got involved 4 years ago. That year Bob Gehman, my long-time friend and Helping Up Mission Executive Director, urged me to join him in running the half-marathon and raising money for our Program. While I haven’t trained for any of the runs these 4 years, I have finished them all – with a few miles of intermittent walking when the old hammies get a little too tight. As a runner most of my life, I love being out there with Bob and the others who run for “Team HUM.”
It is a great event. People standing along the course (as well as those passing me!) recognize Helping Up Mission on my shirt and give so many encouraging words that it is just fun to be there. The whole event is a Mission-wide activity. The guys in our Program actively participate in event set-up and take-down and also serve participants as they cross the finish line that day. Some of the guys are also running with me.
This year we have a fundraising goal of $100,000 – $40,000 of it to be raised by people like myself who are gathering support. Last year, one of our Board of Directors ran with us and asked his friends to support what he did. Since I am going to participate again this year, anyway, I thought I would tell my friends and invite them to support what we are doing here, as well.
If you are interested, you can check out our team webpage http://www.razoo.com/team/Team-Hum. I took at look at it, myself, on Wednesday and saw that I was 17th – dead last – with $0 raised for the race! I decided I had better tell somebody I was actually doing this, so I sent an email to everyone in my contact list. I checked the website again this morning – I have moved up to 10th and 4 people are supporting my efforts! And then there was also a check waiting for me when I came in this morning! Wahoo, wahoo!
Of course, now I want to be first – that’s one of my issues! But, as usual, it not about me. This is about the men who I have had the privilege of serving at Helping Up Mission for the past 12 years. Thanks for being interested and praying and supporting all that we do here.
Still one day at a time for me,
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director