Drug and alcohol abuse is a growing issue in today’s society. Addictions beginning in the teen years can lead to issues such crime, including violent ones, teen pregnancies and dropping out of school. These of course can continue in a worsening state, leading in many cases to drug addicted babies, perpetual unemployment, broken families, homelessness, death from overdosing and shattered lives from drunk driving.
My brother became addicted to drugs and alcohol as a teen, an addiction that lasted into well into his early adult years. While he eventually beat the addiction, it had a lasting effect on his life. Despite this, he became a strong Christian with a unique ministry in which he personally ministered to random people he would meet, including the down and out and homeless people in the Apopka, FL area. This included handing out Bibles, each with a personal handwritten note stating he loved them and was praying for them, to complete strangers. This ministry ended when he passed away in April 2016.
While his death was hard to deal with, it led to many positive changes in my life. One of those changes was that I started running and quickly began competing in half marathons and other races. In December of 2017, I ran and completed the Daytona 100 in his memory, a race that took me from Jacksonville Beach to Daytona Beach. It was an intense and painful race which I finished in 28 hours and 54 minutes. While training for that race I raised money in his memory and shortly after donated a total of $1,141.00 to Teen Challenge USA. It was such a blessing to learn that my funds were doubled in a matching campaign!
For those of you that don't know, Teen Challenge is a 12-month residual program for individuals struggling with life-controlling issues, such as addictions. Teen Challenge's vision is to put hope within reach of every addict by offering life transformation through their caring, Christ centered programs. Through their proven solutions for life controlling addictions, the hope is that every Teen Challenge student will become productive member in society, mentally sound, emotionally balanced, physically well and spiritually alive!
I am now at it again training for a new race season that will include The Florida Run Half Marathon on November 10th, the Guana 50k Trail Run on December 2nd and the Ironhorse 100k on February 9, 2019. Like I did for the Daytona 100, I am again raising money for Teen Challenge in memory of my brother. My goal last year was a $1,000.00. This time around, I am actually teaming with the organization in an effort to raise even more life changing funds with a goal of $5,000.00. I am praying with faith that regardless of the final amount raised, the donation will help change the lives of those battling these hopeless drug and alcohol addictions. If you are unable to make a financial contribution, I would ask for your prayers to make this effort a tremedous success. Thanks and God Bless!