Finishing a marathon may feel like an individual accomplishment but really there’s a team that has helped me get to the finish line. I wouldn’t get to the start line, let alone the finish line, without a strong support team — from coaches who help me in training to family and friends who bring me perspective and Gatorade. I may run the 26.2 miles on my own two feet, but I didn’t get there all by myself. True in running and true in life, no one ever really achieves their goals without a solid support system.
But where do you go when you have no support circle? For hundreds of women in Niagara County, the majority of them with children, the question weighs on them daily. The stop-gap measures are helpful, but to remake and claim ownership of their lives they need security and support.
Carolyn’s House, a program of the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier, helps fill that need. The historic building in the heart of Niagara Falls, N.Y. provides residency to homeless women and their children along with services ranging from case management to job training to children’s groups. Those services extend to the surrounding community as well, helping women with jobs in the culinary arts through their social enterprise business, The Catering Crew, as well as inviting those in need to a variety of their programs and training sessions.
The goal is self-sufficiency — giving these women the tools, guidance and support to create independent lives for themselves.
My 2016 season is about raising money for Carolyn’s House so that women can get the tools, skills and most importantly the support they need to go from homeless to hope. It will all culminate in running the Niagara Falls International Marathon in October. Your donation to the nonprofit organization helps provide programming and a safe space for women to rebuild their lives.
My goal is lofty: $3,000. I will be updating the site on You Caring regularly with my training and races. You can also donate there. All money raised goes to Carolyn’s Houes to continue to provide services and support as women do the hard ark work of rebuilding their lives.