Archive for the ‘Philanthropy’ Category

At my heaviest, I weighed 300 pounds. I never in a million years thought I would be able to run for prolonged periods of time, let alone for 30 minutes straight. But with some great support and some hard work, Savannah and I recently ran our first 5k. We participated in  the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure supporting breast cancer awareness and research. Here is a picture of us from race day.

We also hiked for Safe Haven, a homeless shelter for families, who every year puts on Hike for the Homeless. We mentioned in our blog from last October, that we were participating in  the sixth annual hike. Savannah, her sister Brook, and two of Brook’s boys, Cameron and Ethon, formed Team Trailblazers. For the seventh annual hike, Team Trailblazers almost doubled in size! Also our team was able to raise $200 in just two days! We also hiked Edwin Warner Park for 2.67 miles! We are so fit! 🙂 Here is a picture of the whole team.

And continuing with a move to fitness, we are running the Grace Ministries Turkey Trot on November 24. We are super excited because our good friends John and Anelle will be running with us! Well, they will probably be running ahead of us, but we will be in  the same race.



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Last week Ryan and I watched two movies about homelessness without meaning to. At the beginning of the week, we watched “The Soloist,” a Netflix movie we had lying around for a while because neither one of us could remember what it was about. Jamie Foxx plays a homeless musician with a mental disorder and Robert Downey Jr. is a journalist who befriends him. After we returned that movie, Netflix sent us “The Pursuit of Happyness,” which also has a main character that struggles with homelessness. After watching “The Pursuit of Happyness,” we had a conversation about how ironic it was that the two movies we saw that week were about homelessness.

Then on Sunday morning while we were in church, four homeless men walked in. We scooted down to make room for them. I talked to the man who was sitting in the chair next to me, and he told me that he had been pushed in a fire and robbed. He showed me the horrible blisters on his hand from the fire. He told me that he went to the Nashville Rescue Mission, but someone took his stuff, so they were sleeping under a bridge instead. He said that they were going to try to make their way to Denver. The four of them were really sweet to one another.  It was really humbling to sit beside them and see and hear them praising God when they have so much less than I do. Funny that I often struggle so much with my faith when I have been given so much.

I didn’t have much to offer besides conversation, but I left feeling compelled to do something for a homeless ministry. I had no clue where to start, but it just felt like all the signs were pointing in that direction.

This morning on the way to work, I got another sign. Literally. A sign for the Hike for the Homeless to benefit Safe Haven Family Shelter was posted at Edwin Warner Park. I immediately knew that I had to participate. So this Saturday, Ryan and I will be hiking for the homeless. And we would love for you to join us!

You can sign up for our team (the Trailblazers) or donate here.

Here is the information from Safe Haven’s website:

Safe Haven Family Shelter is gearing up for our 6th annual, Hike for the Homeless event, an annual favorite for its heavy dose of outdoor time, friends, family, food and fun. The event includes hiking on two paved hiking trails, which vary in length two to three miles, a complimentary breakfast and lunch, face painting, inflatables for the kids, live music, goody bags and more. The hike will take place at Edwin Warner Park, picnic shelters 9 and 11, on Saturday, October 16th. Registration begins at 9 a.m., with hikers hitting the trail at 10 a.m.

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Last week Ryan and I took a much-needed vacation from work to celebrate our one-year anniversary (which was Sunday, October 3). We had an amazing time, but we’ll post more on that later. This week we actually have a few different cancer-related events going on, so this post is to remind everyone about the importance of cancer research and to encourage you to join with us in donating time and/or money to some valuable organizations.

On Thursday, Ryan and I are both participating in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS’s) Light The Night Walk with the Real Wives of Country Music. We obviously aren’t wives of country music, but Becky (Ryan’s sister) is the team captain. Find out more and donate by going to our pages.

Savannah’s Donation Page

Ryan’s Donation Page

Then Saturday is Nashville’s Komen Race for the Cure. I had been planning on joining my friend Laura’s Fight Like a Girl team, but with my back and hip still giving me trouble, it doesn’t seem like a good idea to participate in two walks this week. So instead, I joined the team as a Sleep In for the Cure participant. Yes, it does make me feel a little lazy to be sleeping in instead of walking or running, but I’m excited to be able to help support breast cancer research while giving my body the rest it needs to continue to recuperate from my surgery. You can find out more about event and make a donation by going to my page.

Also this week, I am sending my hair off to Locks of Love. A couple weeks ago I went to Eyecandy Salon and got 10 inches cut off! I was so nervous that I had Ryan come with me. (He’s the best!) But in the end, it really doesn’t seem too short. In fact, a lot of people haven’t even noticed the difference. It definitely looks different when you see the looks side by side though. Check it out:





You can find out more at Locks of Love’s website. There are other great charities to donate hair to that actually make more wigs each year, but since my hair has been colored in the past and hadn’t quite grown out all the way, Locks of Love was my best choice. Here are the other options I looked into:

Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Wigs For Kids

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Before we continue on our journey, I think we would remiss if we ignored the current events that affect our lives today. As most of you probably know, the country of Haiti experienced a 7.0 magnitude earthquake this weak. While this is an extremely strong earthquake, the infrastructure, or lack thereof, in Haiti makes this an even more devastating 7. We will be keeping Haiti and all those connected to this broken land in our prayers. If you want to help, we have heard of some interesting ways:

1) If you text HAITI to 90999, you can donate $10 by way of your next phone bill to the American Red Cross.

2) I read Seth Godin’s blog, and in today’s entry, he spoke of a company called Double Take Clothing that is selling Help Haiti T-shirts. They are $20, which includes a $5 donation to relief efforts, or if you don’t want to donate an extra $5, they are also selling the T-Shirts for $15. Proceeds from the sale of both shirts are going to relief efforts, and Double Take is currently renegotiating rates with their suppliers to increase the donation amount.

3) There are countless other organizations you can donate to at this time to make a difference. CNN has a good list on their website.

Finally, if any of you reading this have any connections, or if you could just take a few minutes to contact representatives and media and anyone else who can help, my friend Jody Mader has been posting this story on her tweets and status updates and blog: two of her friends were running an orphanage with 30 children in Haiti. They desperately need to get the children to safety, but they cannot leave the country with them. The two girls can come home, but they would have to leave the children behind. And without these two amazing girls, the children would surely die. Jody gives a good summary of what is happening on her blog. These children are far along the adoption process and are almost American citizens. Only because they aren’t official yet, they are stuck in the devastation. They have families waiting on them here in America, but they will be left behind in the mess if no one steps in to help. What they desperately need is someone with power to help them get temporary U.S. citizenship. Can you help?

I am sure there are more ways to help, but these are some interesting ways we have heard of. If you know of any other ways, please feel free to post a comment and spread the good word.

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