As we come to the end of 2016, many of us are feeling like this year can't end soon enough. But while it has been a difficult year for our nation, our state & even our communities in many ways, these challenges have also given us an opportunity to reach out for one another & lean on each other for support. Mile in My Shoes is unique in that, at least a few times a week, we find ourselves reaching towards people who help us to become more open-minded, more tolerant of differences, more compassionate - not less.
One of the greatest things about Mile in My Shoes is, in my opinion, not just the opportunity it gives us to come into close contact with people from very different backgrounds than ourselves, but also to witness the best in one another. It goes beyond simply "breaking our bubble". As Resident Member Peter described in his speech at this past week's celebration, through running we challenge ourselves, and one another, to dig deep within and bring out parts of ourselves that we didn't even know existed. To be able to foster & witness this kind of discovery - what a gift. Get a glimpse into some of these moments by checking out our slideshow, and thank you for your part in making us stronger - together.
Drumstick Dash 5K/10K Race: On Thanksgiving morning sixteen Resident Members, alongside eighteen Run Mentor pacers, took part in the Drumstick Dash 5K & 10K race around Lake Harriet. This marked the FIRST RACE EVER for the five resident members of Team YouthLink. One of them was so jazzed about her race that she jumped right into Lake Harriet when it was over to celebrate! It was a fantastic morning for being #thankful for one another (and to Running Ventures for donating entries for our entire team!).
Give 2 the Max Day: Mile in My Shoes is grateful for a wildly successful Give to the Max Day, where we raised a total of $5,570! This far surpassed our goal of $2K thanks to over FIFTY individual donors, including $1K matching grants given by Josh & Joani Moberg and Steve & Maggie Vertin. It is an incredible boost to our organization to have the support of so many individuals who believe in the MiMS mission.
MiMSies: We celebrated an end to our amazing 2016 Season on December 8th with the "MiMSies", our year-end celebration of the program. Congratulations to our Resident Member/Alumni speakers Jeff, Peter & Navares, who shared with us their own Mile in My Shoes journeys, and to the winners of the Extra Mile in My Shoes Award, created by Resident Members and given to Run Mentors who go the extra mile. Team Higher Ground's Andy Morgan & Team YouthLink's Leslie Cole are this year's recipients (photos of those gold shoe awards will be posted soon!). Finally, a big thank you to Run Mentors Julia Stewart, Eric Pleiss & Rachel White who helped organize the event.
Winter Runs: Can't survive the winter without your MiMS? While the 2016 Season may have officially ended, Team Higher Ground will be sneaking in a few runs over the winter break. Join the team on Thursday, January 12th or Tuesday, February 14th at 6am at Higher Ground - and be sure to dress in layers (you may end up running the skyways)!
Give a Mile in My Shoes Beanie! Or snag one for yourself. Rep your favorite nonprofit all winter long in this cozy hat. All $20 goes directly to Mile in My Shoes - email email@example.com to order.
Become a 2017 Core Team Member: Interested in becoming more involved in shaping our teams & morning runs next year? While we are still in the process of choosing next year's sites, feel free to get a jump on the action by emailing your interest to Mishka@mileinmyshoes.mn. Full descriptions will be posted in the coming weeks, but we'll be looking for team leaders, coaches, social & race coordinators and resident member managers for all our teams.
Homeless Memorial March & Service Thursday, Dec 15th
Each year this march put on by Simpson Housing remembers those who have died while homeless in Minnesota. This year, Mile in My Shoes has the special honor of leading the march, carrying the Heart of the Beast Theater's puppet marking the head of the procession. The march & silent vigil begins at 5pm (at Hennepin County Government Center), memorial service at 6:30pm & a community meal is served at 7:30pm. All are welcome to attend any part of the evening's events, find out more info here.
Finally, don't miss this month's opportunity to learn more about Alumni Member Jeff & Run Mentor Nicole - two of the people running together to changle lives & change perceptions.