Friday, February 23, 2007

If you don't read a single other post on my blog, please read this one...

I am a firm believer in asking for and telling people what you want, especially something that you are very passionate about, so I am doing that here. I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to read this. Whether you are a regular visitor to my blog or this is your first time here, I want you to understand that my entire focus is to do whatever I can to spread the word about the main Faithful Soles web site so that I can help get young people involved in our PR10K (Promote Running for 10,000 Kids) program that helps them establish a walking or running program. This idea all started for me last fall when I was asked to come out to a school in an underpriviledged area to help coach a group of 5th and 6th graders to run their first 5K. This school has students through junior high, and I found out that they have a great group of 7th and 8th graders on their cross-country team who love to run, but many of them are doing so in street shoes (a great friend of mine, Debbie Goldberg, who organized this, was able to work to obtain running shoes for them). The track they run on is in back of the school, and is basically nothing more than a cracked asphalt path, and before the kids can play on the playground area adjacent to it, we were asked by the school administrators to sweep the area each time for drug paraphernalia left behind by addicts who come onto the grounds at night (the picture below is one of our training sessions on the track and that is my son in the back left running with them as a mentor in the program).

Through all of this, these kids have amazing attitudes in circumstances that most of us can not imagine. When they run or walk a certain distance and we pat them on the back or give them a hug and tell them "great job!", their faces absolutely light up, and I can not wait until later this spring when all of them complete their first 5K and get their medals. My goal now is not only to help these youth, but as many youth as I can everywhere and introduce them to running. Every single time we get a new member on Faithful Soles, whether they are joining for themselves or have gotten a membership for someone in their family or for a friend, or if someone doesn't necessarily want a membership, but simply wants to sponsor a youth, I am happy because I know they understand what I am trying to accomplish. More importantly, I know it means one more youth in an underserved area who I am able to provide a matching membership to that will help them to learn goal setting skills, start a walking/running program where they can track their progress, and receive a "Goal Achievement Certificate" once that goal is reached. All of these things are designed to help build their self-esteem. Many of you who read my blog have already joined as a member or sponsor, including individuals, families and businesses, and I am so grateful for your support. If you want to be a part of this, it takes less than 5 minutes to join, and a membership is $15.00 for a year ($25.00 for 2 years), and sponsorships are also available for a suggested amount of $15.00 (the cost of a regular membership, and with a sponsorship in this amount or more you receive a free membership to keep for yourself or to give as a gift), or you can sponsor for any other amount more or less as you see fit. Please go to the "Membership Overview" page to learn more about what all a membership entails with links to our membership and sponsorship enrollment pages.

4 comments:

Gripperm said...

This program is so well worth it...

Deb said...

Robert, I have Amanda Marshall's 'Everybody's got a story' on my IPod...that IS a great song and I love her stuff! Almost 1 week without coffee...arggggggg..............

p.s. I'd love to contribute! Thanks for the invitaion~

Robin said...

Hi. Thanks to coming to my site. It brought me to yours. I have yet to read your main site, but I will this week. From what I read on this post, what you are doing is great. (And I like the catchy name, too--PR10K!)Last year I ran the Boston Marathon with Team in Training, as I couldn't qualify and it was my 1st marathon. The experience (training more so than running that actuall day, but that was part of it too) changed my life. I think that we as Americans desparately need to get in shape. Adults and Kids. Families. hence, you have some admirable goals and I will further check out your main site! I also read the post prior. Have your son consider TEAM IN TRAINING for the Boston marathon on his 18th (& your 50th) b-day! www.teamintraining.org. It is a wonderful charity and a MAGNIFICENT bunch of people -- runners,. staff, coaches! www.teamintraining.org GOOD LUCK with your GOALS!

Bruce said...

Thanks for checking out my blog. The snowey morning was unreal and quite unusual for us as well.

You are doing some great things and have made me think a little about doing something similar in the UK. Did you know that when our current government took power they actually suspened PE (Physical Education) in our schools! Apparently wanted to focus on numeracy and literacy!

Keep up the good work!

Will look at your main website asap and see what its all about.

All the best