By MORE Than Sport
Posted in More Than Sport, on July 14, 2014
As a movement we work with individuals who strive to inspire, transform and redeem the world that we live, work and play in. I (Tony Demakis) reached out to the Lake Zurich triathlon race promoter at ChampionChip 24/7, about finding a way that we could partner together in order to give back to the community. They were very excited about the idea and trusted me to put together a plan that I thought would work best. I did some research and contacted the Emmaus House of Hospitality in Lake Zurich. I informed them about the event and explained how we would like to use it as a platform to collect donations of food, shoes, clothing and school supplies for the people in need who come to them on a regular basis.
The Emmaus House of Hospitality is a non-profit group in Lake Zurich, Illinois who are working hard to help those who are hungry and struggling to stay in their homes. They began in 2000 feeding 12 people on a Sunday night and have grown so much that they fed more than 9,000 people in 2013. In response to God’s call, Emmaus House has a ministry of hospitality dedicated to their neighbors who are struggling with poverty and its uncertainties. They also provide food, clothing and funding for shelter to families in need, helping them move from crisis to stability. Finally, they strive to eliminate the social causes of poverty that affect the people they serve by raising awareness and advocating for change. You can read a Daily Herald article about the Emmaus House here.
On Friday before the race, I spent the better part of the day assisting packet-pick up at Runners High N’ Tri in Arlington Heights, where we collected donations. At this location we collected many pairs of shoes and clothing, while also meeting many of the athletes who would be racing on Sunday, and sharing the vision of More Than Sport. Saturday we were back at packet-pick up once again telling people how they can make a difference through sport, as we collected more food, clothing and school supplies. Race morning food continued to come in, and it seemed like we would have a car full of items to donate, which I felt was a great result for a first time effort. However, when the race ended and all of the people had crossed the line and gone home, I noticed the remanding food from the race and asked the promoter what they were going to do with it? He responded that he would be happy if we could add it to our donations.
Therefore, through the generosity of the athletes involved, ChampionChip 24/7, 321 Go Promotions and More Than Sport, we were able to donate:
• 432 pounds of food
• 11 bags of clothing and shoes
• 4 complete back packs of school supplies
• 1 Large bag full of misc school supplies
• 175 litters of bottled water.
After another solid year of training and preparing for my favorite race of the season, these were the only race numbers that mattered!