• I shared the first correspondence I had with BOMF founder, Anne Mahlum. (blog post)
• I Tweeted at every mile of the Cowtown Half Marathon to raise awareness about this great organization. (blog post)
• I have solicited donations to support their cause on several occasions. (blog post)
Needless to say, I have a soft and passionate place in my heart for this wonderfully great non-profit. It combines two things that I love: Running and giving the homeless a fighting chance to be successful.
Since that very first e-mail that I sent Anne Mahlum, I have not been shy about my shadow mission: Bringing a chapter of Back on My Feet to Dallas/Fort Worth.
Well...the opportunity has officially presented itself.
BOMF is starting the discussion of adding five new cities in 2011. They started in Philadelphia and have already expanded to Baltimore, Washington DC, Chicago and Boston.
Through an e-newsletter, the organization requested suggestions for possible expansion cities next year.
They wrote: "Be passionate and persuasive and tell us why we should expand to your city in 2011 here."
I think I will.
Here is what I submitted:
A little over a year ago, I planted the seed to bring a chapter of Back on My Feet to Dallas/Fort Worth.
I sent Anne an e-mail and copied anyone and everyone who would potentially play a part in making this dream a reality in DFW.
I got mayors in on the conversation, high-wealth donors, runners and running companies. I included volunteers and shelter administrators from across the Metroplex.
I copied potential coaches and city officials. I even asked several homeless clients, "What do you think about this?"
It was wonderfully great to receive everyone's pledge of support. I was blown away by their excitement.
My affinity for the homeless problem in our area had already been established, and they quickly recognized and supported my passion for bringing a chapter to our area.
If Back on My Feet expanded to Texas, I would want to be involved in EVERY capacity – from full-time employment to fund-raising, volunteer coordination, and financial support.
Based on my philanthropic involvement, I feel like I am positioned to do this. I believe I can be more than a supporter of BOMF. I could be a champion.
I currently serve on the Board of Directors for Presbyterian Night Shelter, the largest night shelter in Fort Worth. I also serve on an advisory committee for the Cowtown Marathon and have worked closely with the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition.
Through a lot of prayer and self-analysis, I have finally figured out why I give back to the causes that I do. Whether it's Big Brothers Big Sisters, prison mentoring, or going to the homeless shelter once a week – I firmly believe that EVERYONE deserves a fighting chance to be successful.
A very similar vision/mission of Back on My Feet.
If BOMF brought a chapter to DFW, I would raise awareness about the organization, the homeless problem in our region, and the power of running. I would do this through my experience in communications – specifically media exposure, social media and events.
Last summer I traveled to Philadelphia to learn as much as I could about BOMF. I also wanted to prove to Anne and the entire Back on My Feet family that I was dedicated to making my vision of a DFW chapter come alive.
I volunteered for 20in24 – stayed up all night at one of the check points. I met tons of fantastic people, but the best part of my trip was actually running with a team before flying back to Texas.
Before I did that run, BOMF had peaked my interest.
After that, this organization had a hold of my heart.
I don't know who will be reading this "persuasive" essay, but hopefully my name, my passion for BOMF, and my intense desire to bring a chapter to the Metroplex is already recognized.
Maybe...just maybe...these 450 words will push us over the top.
Other general information:
• Based on 2009 homeless count, there were approximately 7,500 homeless across Dallas/Fort Worth
• In 2008, Fort Worth put an emphasis on ending homelessness, adopting a 10-year strategic plan.
CALL TO ACTION:
If you would like to support our efforts in showing our Back on My Feet that we are serious – you can financially support BOMF's expansion campaign. DONATE HERE