Another great day to donate! Two marathons and two charities! Let's raise a combined $6,500 for cancer research through Fred's Team and low-income seniors with Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly (H.O.M.E.)!
Donate to H.O.M.E. here (write in "marathon" in note section). Donate to Fred's Team here.
It took me months into fundraising last year to understand what H.O.M.E. is doing. And even then, I didn't have any revelations, or smart realizations. I had to go see. I was given all the talking points, the write ups, the sales pitches. I was given the pamphlets and the website. I read about H.O.M.E. I read about seniors. But I didn't understand until I went and saw.
I didn't understand what HOME was doing because I didn't understand the need. And when I finally saw, when I realized, when what I had been reading, and writing, and talking about - when it became present and true - I was startled. But startled doesn't carry the profundity, and shocked sounds too silly. Rather it was as when you see past a silly illusion, when the optics become clear and you see now rightly, and you can no longer go back. It was that. And I saw what HOME was doing because I saw the need. And it is real.
H.O.M.E. realized there is a missing component to senior care. We (or I, I should say) tend to think on aspects of their health care, prescriptions, maybe mobility and the like. All of which are important, of course. But there is a need so basic that I, and many others missed. There are many seniors who have no homes. Most no longer have any income, and the savings are not enough. Many low-income seniors have no where to live.
Many seniors have few options - most not good - when they can no longer afford to live. As you can imagine, having a safe and secure place to live, a true home, impacts every aspect of anyone's life. We know this. It is one of the reasons we ache when we hear about more refugees. No part of any displaced person's life is immune.
H.O.M.E. seeks to enable more and more seniors to live independently longer. This is what I heard, and read, and told you all last year. I just didn't know how wonderful, how important, how life-giving that is. I didn't know until I went and saw it. When I toured the Nathalie Salmon House, one of HOME's Apartment buildings in Chicago, and when I met some of the residents, I understood. They are providing a place of being. They are providing stability, security, independence. They are enabling people to flourish. This is why I am asking for your donations.
Providing a place to live is just one aspect of what HOME does. It isn't a complex idea. In reality it is simple. But it means the world to those who HOME serves.
I wish it wasn't my story. I wish I could say, like many of my friends, that I was running in the memory of, or for the love of some friend or family member. I wish I had been so motivated by my care of others. But that is not true. I am supporting cancer research because without it I would be dead.
Research costs. There are no ways around it. But it is worth our investment.
If having a secure place to live allows for flourishing, so does a sound body. Just as HOME is improve the lives of their neighbors, so is Fred's Team. They are driven by the desire to never have another doctor tell their patient there is nothing they can do. They are driven by the desire to get rid of cancer.
I was told that Monday night in October that I was mistaken. I sat the little room and thought of all the people that I knew that had cancer. All but two were already dead. So I asked the only question I thought worthwhile. "How much time do I have left?" "No," she replied, "You misunderstand. We are going to cure you."
Life changing words, life holding words, flourishing words, this is what I want others to hear. Far too few do. This is why I'm asking for your donations.
I wonder what it says about me that I need such first hand and tactile experiences before I "see." I'm not sure. Someday I may figure that out. I wonder if it shares anything with the fact that all my sentences start with the word "I." Have you noticed that over the last three years? I have.