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I would like to introduce you to another organization that partners with Orange County Rescue Mission. Up and Running Again is a non-profit Christian organization that trains the homeless to run half marathons. The 14-week program is meant to start the non-runner slowly towards being able to run 13.1 miles. For many years they have been a blessing to students as they grow on their journey to self-sufficiency.
The Rescue Mission shares a close history with Up and Running Again, as it actually got its start here! Steve Tierney is an accountant, and he challenged himself to run a marathon. He was not a runner, so found a book that guided the non-runner to a marathon. After completing it, he realized that he had such an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and felt like he could tackle anything that came his way.
Soon after, he was meeting with someone at Orange County Rescue Mission when he realized the benefits training for and completing a marathon could have on the homeless population. He began developing Up and Running Again, and started the first group of enthusiastic runners in 2009 here at Orange County Rescue Mission, which ran the Surf City Half Marathon in 2010.
Up and Running Again has now expanded to serve at various Rescue Missions and it serves the residents of each Mission by helping to develop healthy habits in exercise, nutrition, and in other areas such as goal setting, dedication, persistence, team building, and increased self-esteem.
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Most importantly, this program builds more than just healthy physical habits.  When runners complete the Up and Running Again program, it challenges them to look towards other areas of their life and realize that they can accomplish much more than they thought possible if they follow steps towards reaching that goal. Through training for a half marathon, they have realized that they are not quitters, that they can stick with something, and that working together as a team is a much more effective way to keep them accountable and motivated.
Since the program began in 2009, approximately 230 Orange County Rescue Mission students have finished the program and completed a half marathon. This program has blessed the students of Orange County Rescue Mission through their desire to motivate and encourage broken and lost individuals. I am so thankful for their partnership and all they do for our residents!
Please take a look at Up and Running Again’s Facebook for more information regarding their work with the Orange County Rescue Mission.
For more information regarding serving alongside students, like our Up and Running Again partners, please call (714) 247-4368 or email volunteers@rescuemission.org to inquire about volunteering.

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