Tuesday, January 16, 2007

25 Things About Genesis Home

1. Genesis Home works to end homelessness for families with children, and for young people, by providing housing and supportive services that foster independence.
2. In 2006, Genesis Home provided long-term shelter for 32 families...
3. ... 53 children...
4. ... and 3 homeless youth who had aged out of foster care.
5. 33 of the children living at Genesis Home in 2006 were 0-5 years old.
6. Families can stay at Genesis Home for up to two years while working or going to school.
7. The average income of families coming into the home was $426 per month.
8. Upon leaving, families had a average income of $977 per month.
9. Debt among families decreased 14% during their stays at Genesis Home.
10. Nine staff work at Genesis Home.
11. Families living at Genesis Home are homeless for many reasons.
12. Some families have been downsized out of there jobs.
13. Some families are fleeing domestic abuse.
14. Some families faced a health care crisis and had no insurance.
15. Some families have one or more members with mental illness.
16. Some families are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.
17. In 2006, there were 1,711 homeless men, women, and children in the Triangle.
18. 502 of those people lived in Durham County.
19. Volunteers provide critical services at Genesis Home, including:
20. ...tutoring...
21. ...building maintenance...
22. ...fundraising...
23. ...life skills teaching...
24. ...and Board governance...
25. Genesis Home glady accepts donations!

50 Things About Us

The 2007 Version
1. We're sisters who are two years apart in age.
2. We also have a fabulous third sister- Holly - who is still in high school.
3. She will be competing in her first triathlon this year!
4. Rachel has been competing in triathlons for 5 years.
5. Robyn competed in her first three tris in 2006.
6. We're married to two wonderful men - Dave and Ryan.
7. Dave is also a seasoned endurance, multisport athlete.
8. Ryan is the world's best cheerleader - and inspires us by biking to work most days!
9. He's also the Executive Director of Genesis Home -- the organization we're supporting this season!
10. We were raised by incredible parents who taught us the importance of giving back to our communities.
11. They made us give away part of our allowance every week.
12. Ray is a public health graduate student.
13. Robyn works for a foundation.
14. We've completed two marathons - Country Music in 2002 and Disney in 2003...
15. ...And a handful of half-marathons.
16. We've made it through 26.2 twice by believing we could do it....
17. ... training together (by cell phone when we lived far apart!)...
18 ... and staying committed to putting one foot in front of the other.
19. Some of our friends and family think we're a little crazy!
20. We've found yoga to be beneficial on and off the race course.
21. Ray won her first age group tri award at the 2006 Ramblin' Rose
22. Robyn has yet to make it out of the middle (or back) of the pack!
23. Ray and Dave rode a tandem bike into their wedding reception (Always training....).
24. Robyn and Ryan met in graduate school.
25. Dave built Ray's first road bike as a secret Christmas gift.
26. Robyn just got her first bike from Santa (and a lot of generous family members) this year!
27. The last book Ray read was Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard.
28. The last book Robyn read was The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama.
29. Ray and Rob got felt the call to work in communities after spending several summers volunteering with Mountain T.O.P. in the Tennessee mountains.
30. Ray has had an up close brush with fame at the 2005 Tour de France.
31. Ray taught Robyn to swim -- by having her blow bubbles on the side of the pool like a four-year old (Anyone can learn...)
32. There was a time when neither of us could run for five minutes straight.
33. When we're not training, we love to cook...and eat....and cook....and eat.....and watch Food Network....and eat.
34. When we are training, you can find us at the Downtown Durham YMCA...
35. ....the UNC Wellness Center...
36. ....the Duke Cross Country Course...
37. ...the woods in Carrboro, NC...
38. ....urban streets of the Trinity Park neighborhood...
39. ....and any city we travel to.
40. Peanut butter and coffee are the keys to our training and racing success (or at least it gets us up and keeps us going).
41. Other than Robyn, Ray's favorite training partner is a four-legged Boxer named Laurel.
42. Robyn's first bike accident resulted from an all-too-common, clumsy mis-mount during a newbie tri clinic.
43. Ray's first bike accident resulted in a broken front tooth and root canal in the fourth grade.
44. Robyn once flew to Florida just to meet Ray for a 20 mile training run.
45. Ray joined Rob in Boston this Fall for a mini-training run on parts of the Boston marathon course.
46. We believe in making the ordinary extraordinary...
47. .... in active living as a way of life...
48. .... that we get more than we give...
49. .... that what goes around comes around...
50. ...so we best be good to one another.

A Few 2008 Updates
1. Tri to End Homelessness was selected as the national first place winner in Toyota's Engines of Change contest! Thanks for all of your votes!
2. Ray is in the first year of physical therapy doctoral program and has taken the year off from racing. She can still be found during early morning swims at the Wellness Center, running through the Carrboro woods, and occasionally joining Robyn for a long ride.
3. Robyn is climbing out of the back of the pack and won her age group for the first time during her first 2008 tri and then again three weeks later at a local 5K!
4. Robyn is proud to be a 2008 member of Goody's Team Stayput.
5. In 2007, we learned that extraordinary things happen when you dream big! Stay tuned to see what's possible in 2008!

Monday, January 15, 2007

A New Beginning

“When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." - Audre Lorde

A new year, new goals, new race schedule -- just as the turn of the calendar provides us with the opportunity to recommit to creating a bold vision for ourselves, Genesis Home provides the space families need to be reborn.

Genesis Home works to end homelessness for families with children, and for young people, by providing shelter and teaching the life skills that foster independence. Since 1989, the agency has provided a safe, stable place where families can come together, rebuild their lives, and prepare for permanent housing in the community. Genesis Home's transitional housing program, Family Matters, helps families build their skills and address the unique factors that led to their homelessness. In 2004, Genesis Home launched the Independent Living Program, which serves homeless youth that have aged out of foster care or who otherwise find themselves homeless. These young adults have nowhere to go in Durham and are typically routed into adult shelters where their special needs often go unfulfilled.

We decided that 2007 would be the year that we would go longer and stronger. Rachel is a seasoned sprint triathlete, while Robyn still considers herself a tri-newbie, having completed her first three races in 2006. This year, we both decided to amp up our training, our race goals, and our personal commitment to using our strengths in the service of our vision. We're following Tri Newbies online 18-week training programs (sprint and olympic) and we'll be using this blog to keep you updated on both our training and fundraising progress.

Becoming the Change

"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality."
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As sisters, triathletes, and social justice advocates, we’re dedicating our 2007 triathlon season to making a change in our community – and we need your help!

This year, we'll be training and racing for a purpose beyond PRs and age-group rankings. Throughout the 2007 season, we’ll be raising awareness about the reality of homelessness in our hometown and raising money for Genesis Home – a shelter for homeless families in Durham, North Carolina. Our duals goals are to (1) raise $2,500 by our first race of the season: the Valdese Sprint on April 14 and (2) successfully complete our first international distance race: the Pinehurst Tri on October 6

Here’s where you come in: Every dollar you contribute as one of our sponsors after February 1 will be matched by a local foundation! Your $10 really means $20 toward clean sheets and a bus pass for a single mom of two staying at Genesis Home while she works and saves money for a deposit on her next apartment. Your $50 really means $100 toward GED program tuition for a young woman who has aged-out of foster care and is transitioning into adulthood. Your $250 really means $500 for the counseling and support a grandmother and her three grandchildren need to move out of homelessness and into a home of their own.

You can make a difference in the lives of these families by sponsoring our 2007 season. Join us as we begin the journey!