I have added someone new to my list of heroes.  Her name is Ann Mahlum, founder and president of Back On My Feet.

BOMF is a non-profit organization.  Four years ago, Ann moved to Philadelphia.  She began her early morning runs there.  Every day she would pass homeless people.  An idea came to her mind, so one day she went in to the homeless shelter and proposed that they join her on her run.  Nine of them ran their first mile with Ann and some volunteers. 

As the men built their cardiovascular system, they also gained the courage and confidence to apply for jobs.  Ann found sponsorship with Nike, who donated shoes and clothing.   Now, more than 400 volunteers partner with Ann to run with the homeless.  Nine of these homeless found jobs and a home.  Another overcame addiction, gained full-time employment, and reunited with his family.  There are other stories just like these.

Since starting BOMF, the program expanded to include other activities, such as bowling night, and basketball.

Back of My Feet is my way of making positive change. Running is one of the most empowering activities there is because there is no end. There is always another mile, another road, another right turn. There is no buzzer and there is no referee. It has taught me so much about life, especially the simple notion that to get anywhere, you have to take it one step at a time.”  Ann M. Mahlum

This story is only one example of how one person can have a major impact.  There are many others.  I want to be one who has significant and meaningful impact on others, don’t you?

What is your passion?  What can you do to turn that passion into a positive force in your community?  Think about it, and then take action.  Perhaps you can begin a chapter of BOMF in your city.  If the homeless can do it, what is our excuse!

4 thoughts on “Homeless Hit the Road

  1. Pam,

    This is an awesome story! We, as a society, are so quick to shun others who may not have what we have but this lady looked “inside” and saw something greater. Is she a boomer? She definitely is a DIVA!

    I truly believe one person can make a difference and I hope I always live my life that way.

  2. This is such an inspiring example of how a small act of thoughtfulness can impact people’s lives in amazing ways. You’re really getting me thinking about ways that I might contribute more to my own community. Sometimes we feel we need to make huge sacrifices of time and money. But, it’s often the small things when done consistently, that have the greatest impact.
    Thanks for this great example!

  3. What an inspiration! Anne Mahlum is definitely hero material. Thank you for introducing her story to us. Really makes me want to stop and figure out how I can be of more service in my community.

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