Written by, Natalie Ziemba, Intern
For George and I, running the Colfax Marathon is more than 26 miles. We set a goal of $1,000 to donate to Denver Rescue Mission. As interns at the Mission, we see the life change that happens, but we also see the great need in our community. Raising $1,000 means 520 meals will be provided to the homeless, but it’s also more than meals. It’s about hope!
In conversation, I asked George why he was motivated to run the marathon as a fundraiser, “Well Ziemba, when people come to Denver Rescue Mission, we try to give them everything they need. They get a place to sleep, a warm meal, but more than that…we give them hope.”
Which is absolutely true, and the value of hope can never be underestimated. In fact, I think hope is essential for daily survival. Denver Rescue Mission provides all kinds of services to address temporary and chronic homelessness, striving to meet the physical needs of the homeless population in Denver (which, at the last count, topped 12,000 people on any given night).
For George, a native from Africa, the reality of poverty, hunger, and homelessness in Denver was completely unexpected. He always tells me that his friends and family back in Africa can’t fathom problems like that in a place like America. In the land of plenty, how can people go without basic needs?
For me, the reality has been there all along. I have had plenty of opportunities to go on mission trips and volunteer my free time to help out in my community, and I always knew that homelessness was a huge and persistent problem. But what could I possibly do about it?
Take action. Ignoring a problem does not make it go away; something must be done. We have the opportunity – and the responsibility – to leave our community better than we found it. We can all do this. Running a marathon is certainly a challenge, but so is changing the world.
Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.
This is a call for you and me to invest our lives to do things that have eternal significance. Providing meals might solve a temporary problem, but instilling hope is eternal. Please join us to make this a reality!
To support Natalie and George, click here.
The runners // George and Natalie