skid row running clubIn one of my recent blogs I introduced the idea of The Power Of Together and how much can be accomplished when we support one another to achieve a worthy common goal. Keeping that in mind, I’ve decided the purpose of this blog should be to share the various projects I come across that exemplify how The Power Of Together is working to make the world a better place.

Recently a friend of mine went to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and when we met for coffee she preceded to tell me about an outstanding documentary Skid Row Marathon (which later won the Audience Choice Award). As she related what the short film was about, she became more and more excited and passionate. And when she finished, I understood why.

Skid Row Marathon tells the story of how for the past 5 years Superior Court Judge Mitchell, a life long runner, has introduced the joy of running to some of the homeless residing at the Midnight Mission in downtown Los Angeles. Through the discipline of running, this group, The Skid Row Running Club, has found how important resilience and goal setting are in taking control of their lives and finding purpose. And it’s working!

Three years ago, three runners went to Ghana for a marathon and came back with new appreciation for how much comfort their lives here give them. Two years ago, one of the runners, a gifted artist, was able to go with the group for a marathon to Rome and was able to see the Sistine Chapel. This March fifty runners are heading to the Jerusalem Marathon. One runner was selected to enter the San Francisco Conservatory Of Music based on his composition.

All of these stories are inspiring and wonderful examples of how supporting one another’s positive actions has the power to transform lives. One runner had been in prison for 30 years. At eighteen he took the life of another young man. He and the judge had corresponded for many years and when he was released from prison he, too, joined the runners. Now, he drives families to prisons on the weekends to visit their loved ones and gives talks, sharing his experience at juvenile hall. One of the first things he did when he got out of prison was to buy a headstone for the young man whose life he took so many years ago. As he says he’s a free man who can never make up for taking a life, but he can do good for the life he has left.

Besides the judge and the residents of skid row, the members of The Skid Row Running Club also include LAPD officers, executives and attorneys. If you find yourself around the Midnight Mission on Mondays and Thursdays at 5:45 AM, you’re welcome to go for a run.

Check them out http://www.skidrowrunningclub.com/. Donations help buy running shoes and trips for the marathons.

If you have a worthwhile project that rocks with The Power Of Together, please let me know by leaving a comment and I’ll be happy to check it out and share it.
Thank you! Remember, we learn from each other.

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