Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Second Saturday Makes A Difference

Second Saturday is joining forces with Make A Difference Michiana on Saturday, October 10th during their national volunteer serve day. Nationally, there will be over

One Million People

serving in their local communities - giving a helping hand to those that are in most need of help.

Make A Difference is a charitable organization but they would not necessarily classify their mission to be faith-based but we are excited to stand beside them as we lend a helping hand to those in our community that have been marginalized.

As always one of our core sites is Monroe Circle Community Center where scores of volunteers will be helping serve guests in our cafe, helping them carry their food box to their car or across the street, playing with kids from the neighborhood (SonCity Kids) and giving hope to everyone we meet.

Plus, about the time we finish our work on Saturday morning, Greg Macklem will be wading into the Pacific Ocean wearing the MC3 banner to start his swimming leg of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship. Pray that Greg will stay injury free and possibly he will be able to tell the story of MC3!

If you are already serving at MC3, come on the 10th and maybe even think about bringing a friend to volunteer beside you. It's a great way to introduce them to MC3 and Up There Down Here!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Greg Macklem Rides for MC3

Greg beats the odds and is selected to compete in the Hawaiian Ironman World Championship Triathlon!

I think Greg's story is a remarkable one. I heard his story last week for the very first time. Two years ago, he was sitting on the sofa (several pounds overweight!) in the comfort of his home, munching on a bag of potato chips and watching others fulfill their dream to finish the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.

An Ironman Triathlon consists of swimming in the ocean for 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and then running a full marathon of 26 miles 385 yards - add a time limit, strong winds and 100+ degrees and you realize how difficult the Hawaii Ironman is for most trained athletes.

He asked his wife if she thought he could do compete in a triathlon and she told him she thought he could if he began training. So, he got off his duff and began to train with a friend. Last month he competed in a Triathlon in St. Louis and completed an application to be randomly selected in a lottery for a very few slots in the Hawaiian Triathlon that have been reserved for the "normal" athlete. To his amazement he was one of the 200 people (from thousands) that was selected to compete! So, next week Greg and his family will be leaving for Hawaii to get ready to compete in the race of his life.

As I listened to his story I thought how it paralleled the storyline of so many people trying to break the cycles of generational poverty living at Monroe Circle. They make a commitment to change the direction and focus of their lives and begin to take steps in that direction. Like Greg, early on no one seems to notice and if they do they have their doubts that you will even make it. The volunteers at MC3 may times see themselves as that friend, that mentor that will encourage residents along their journey. The lesson I learned from Greg is that you need to get up every morning and push toward your goal even when you just don't feel like it.

And here's the rest of the story. Greg is riding for Monroe Circle. He will be wearing a MC3 jersey and he will be telling our story and that he was inspired by many of the people from Monroe Circle that have overcome much larger obstacles than competing in a triathlon.

You can also follow Greg's trek on Facebook under a cause called Greg4MC3.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Volunteers Needed for After-School Program!!!

Last night we had a meeting with Principal Busyee of Madison School to workout the details for our after-school program. Amy Kring started off the meeting with the announcement that we ALREADY have 52 kids signed up for the LEAP program. South Bend Community School Corporation is providing the teachers but we need a lot more volunteers. Several students from Bethel College have committed to help plus a group from Riley High School. However, the number of kids is increasing from 12 to 15 kids per day to over 50. Plus, we are doubling the number of days the after-school program will operate.

We would like to have one volunteer for every two kids. We are asking volunteers to commit to serving one time a week (Monday thru Thursday) from 3:30 to 5:00 PM. Our goal is to use this time to help remediate these kids so that they are leading their classmates in every area of accademic achievement.

We are holding a volunteer informational meeting on Monday, September 14th from 6:00 to 7:00 PM at the community center. We need your help. You do not need to be a professional teacher - just a willingness to help. Your time and commitment to changing the destiny of many of these kids is a reality. The moment is now - are you willing?