Tag archive for "love"

Happy ‘Relief’giving


Happy ‘Relief’giving

No Comments 26 November 2009

Sunrise Over Lake Michigan

Sunrise Over Lake Michigan

The dictionary describes the word ‘thankful’ as being pleased and relieved.  To be honest I never really thought of being ‘thankful’ as a form of relief.  At times we take for granted the things we have until a holiday like Thanksgiving comes along and makes us take a break from our busy lives to really think about what it is in our lives that give us ‘relief’.

For me, there are many things that give me relief.  My wife gives me relief from a life of being alone and without love. My kids give me relief from a life without pure joy.  God gives me relief from a life without unconditional love.  My job gives me relief from a life without the means to provide for the ones I love.  My health gives me relief to experience the outdoors and everyday tasks that get me through the day.  The service men and women who do all they can to protect this great nation give me relief from a life of worry.  My mom and dad give me relief from a life without support should my world come crumbling down.  My friends give me relief from not having people around to share in my goals and journeys.  The list could go on and on…

The only problem with experiencing such great relief is that with it comes the realization that 3 million people across this nation can’t say the same for their lives.  While I say a prayer of thanks for all I have been given relief from, I will also say a prayer for those who are struggling to find food, shelter and most of all love.

For if we can find love, we find hope and if we can find hope, we find relief.


Success in Chicago in more ways than expected

3 Comments 04 August 2009

Me with my son, Mac

Me with my son, Mac

When I arrived in Chicago, a city I look forward to visiting every time I come, I knew that the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon was going to be an exciting event for Give Your Sole.  Little did I know what a truly amazing experience it would turn out to be.  It all started on Friday at the Health and Fitness Expo just like any other race.  Fridays are known to be a bit slower because people have to work and figure they still have Saturday to pick up their race packets. We still took in 97 pairs which is a good amount of shoes.  Saturday rolled around and the crowd grew in size and we ended up collecting 150 pairs. The rest of those who came by the booth said they would donate their shoes Sunday after the race to get their free flop-flops. They did, 234 of them!

Sunday is where things got a little crazy. I had my 15 year old son Mac with me, along with my mom, dad and brother, all weekend helping out at the booth. Mac did an incredible job talking with people like he’d been doing this for years. He never hesitated in telling people about what we were doing.  I now understand what true joy is because I felt it from the tip of my toes to the top of my head standing in awe as my once little boy now stood before me talking with people, recruiting people to make a difference.  He stood there for hours on end Friday and Saturday until he was exhausted.

Sunday morning rolls around and as many of you know it was an early morning, especially for a 15 year old.  We all got up and headed to the race but ended up having to park about a mile and half away causing us to be late getting to our booth.  Mac decided to take off running to get to the booth and get things ready for the day.  About an hour or so later Mac became dizzy and a migraine set in.  From that point on he crashed, hard and fast.  As the runners began to finish I decided he needed to get over to the medic tent and so off we went.  Within the 10 minutes of arriving in the tent he lost feeling in his face and left arm; completely numb and he could not squeeze my hand. Of course this made him nervous resulting in some hyperventilation. The wonderful medics that were helping Mac decided it was best to get him transported and so off we went.  Next stop; the hospital. I ran back to the Give Your Sole tent to give the news to Mom and Dad and when I came to the booth what I saw was truly amazing.  Shoes EVERYWHERE!  Mom and Dad were buried in shoes up to their eyeballs. Thank goodness my brother had made it to help out. Three to Four people deep waiting in line, bare foot, holding their shoes ready for donation. It was working.  All of our work and much of Macs had paid off.  The people at MorningStar Rescue Mission who needed shoes would not be let down.

Sirens blaring and weaving through traffic we arrived at the hospital.  I don’t care who you are, if you have to be in a hospital it can get scary, especially if you are the one being worked on. It was no different for Mac. My son was now going to get the full treatment; blood test, I.V. and CAT Scan; all of which were not anywhere on his list of things to do today.  At this point I began to see there was a bigger plan for Mac and I today.  If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m divorced from Mac’s mom and even though Mac and I have remained in contact and have seen each other pretty much on a regular basis since he was little we never have really gone through something like this together; and hopefully never will again.  Looking into his eyes he was scared and confused but he also knew I was there for him.  After hours of waiting, the usual protocol for hospitals, everything came back clear.  Diagnosis; the migraine was brought on by dehydration resulting in his body falling to pieces.

Four things happened this weekend. First, Mac was there for me to help grow Give Your Sole.  Second, I was there for Mac when he needed me. Third, the Lord was there for both of us. Fourth, the runners, 481 of them who donated their shoes were there for those in need at the MorningStar Rescue Mission.

Thank you to everyone for the support and making this an event where Give Your Sole grew, memories were made and love was strengthened.

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