We’ve all experienced that moment when we don’t know if we matter. We question if our story matters, if our place in the world matters, what our purpose is, if our contribution is enough and if we are enough. Luckily for most of us, these questions come and go. We find our place and our people. We connect to our hearts. We know that what we bring to the world is enough.
But what about the people who don’t know and due to many different situations, lose everything — no place to live, estranged from their families and friends, sometimes completely disconnected from themselves due to drugs, mental illness, or both? Do they know they matter? Do we show them when we walk by them on the streets, or do we look away? Do we treat homeless people like people or like a problem?
For me the answer varies. My daughter and I used to volunteer on a food truck serving homeless communities, and I’ve continued my mission to serve by donating money, clothing and other items and even making sandwiches and hand delivering them to homeless people in my city. I have a heart for homeless people, but let me be honest. There are the other times too, when I’m in a hurry or I feel uncomfortable. I walk right by. I don’t make eye contact. I don’t demonstrate in any way that they matter. And maybe homeless people don’t expect it or think they deserve anything but they do. Everyone deserves to be fed with food, warmth, shelter and love. Maybe when you know you matter, you have a little hope. And with a little hope, anything is possible.
Almost every year, the Be More with Less community gets together to support an organization making a difference in the world. Together, we’ve raised thousands of dollars for Charity Water, The Hope Effect, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Together Rising. It always amazes me that when we each give a little, together we can give a lot.
This year, I’m inviting you to help me support Back on My Feet, an organization committed to helping homeless people get back on their feet through the joy of running. The volunteers from Back on My Feet let homeless people know they matter. They don’t walk by and look in the other direction. Instead they invite them for a run. I want to help them with this really important work. I don’t run but I can give and I thought it would be really cool if we gave as a community.
I was inspired to choose Back on My Feet this year because my dear friend Rachel’s husband (who is also my dear friend) is deeply invested in this organization. His name is Terence and he works for Back on My Feet. He cares deeply about his work, his mission and the people he serves. He also cares for his friends and family in a really special way. The last time I was in New York City, we went for bagels in his neighborhood. I was asking him about Back on My Feet, and the volunteers dedicated to waking up at 5:30 am (yes, 5:30 a.m.) to run with homeless people and he said, “sometimes you can’t tell who is helping who.” He continued, “this isn’t a running club, this is a human connection club.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to be a part of that. I want to be part of a human connection club.
So, how does it work? What happens to the homeless people who run with Back on My Feet?
After running with 90% attendance for 30 days in the program, members earn the opportunity to move into the second phase of the program called Next Steps, which provides educational support, job training programs, employment partnership referrals and housing resources. Over 80% of individuals who start move into the Next Steps phase. This is a really big deal!
My heart for the homeless and Terence’s dedication to making all people feel like they matter inspired this collaboration. I hope you’ll join us.
I’ll match your donation and give you a book!
You can read more about Back on My Feet here, but if you’d like me to match your donation, please donate by clicking here. There are options for donation amounts including an “other” button where you can contribute whatever you’d like. I’m not kidding when I say that even donations of $1.00 or $2.00 will make a big difference. Tens of thousands of people will see this invitation to help, so $1.00 each would be incredible.
My digital books, Simple Ways to Be More with Less and Mini-missions for Simplicity are available on Amazon for $2.99 each. If you make your donation by Wednesday, June 27th, I’ll send you one (your choice) when you let me know you’ve made a donation. You don’t have to tell me how much you donated or send a receipt. I trust you! Email and let me know you’ve donated and which book you want and I will send you a PDF version.
Everyone Deserves to Be Fed and Loved
I understand that choosing to live with less, to climb out of debt, and to do work I love is a privilege. I’ll never take it for granted and will always use it to give back.
Tonight I’m attending the Back on My Feet annual fundraising event in NYC. I’d love to share with my friends Rachel and Terence and the Back on My Feet staff and volunteers that the Be More with Less Community met the $1500 match in less than 24 hours so please don’t wait if you want to give. I want to show them we know their work matters, and that they matter.
I’ll personally match all donations made here up to $1500.00. Please consider a donation to show just how awesome our Be More with Less Community is and to remind the people living with far too little and the people who support them that they matter too.