Spring has officially sprung! It’s the perfect time for al fresco lunches, planting gardens and serious spring house cleaning. It’s also the ideal time to start (or re-start) a running or fitness routine. We sat down with Adina Aft, a new Run Domestic Violence Out of Town team member, to discuss her enthusiasm for running and why she chose to run and raise awareness for survivors of domestic abuse.
Why run the Chicago Marathon?
I started running about four years ago, but really became committed to distance running a year ago. I want to prove to myself that I can do it – that I am strong enough. I know so much of the marathon distance is mental and I am excited to challenge myself. I was downtown last year to see Hamilton on the day of the Marathon. I watched an older woman participating and thought if she can do it, so can I! There is no age limit or body type in the marathon.
With over 150 charities to run with, you chose Run Domestic Violence Out of Town. How did you make this decision?
I recently read Big Little Lies and also watched the TV series. It was so intense and I realized the premise is helping make domestic violence more mainstream and understood. It seems the subject is so taboo and not talked about enough. I want to help spread awareness so women can hopefully seek help to get out of their situations.
What is your biggest fear about covering 26.2 miles through Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods?
My biggest fear is not crossing that finish line. I just want to prove to myself I am strong and capable of achieving this big goal, physically and mentally. When the race gets tough, I know that I will find motivation from the survivors who come to SHALVA. Together we can keep moving forward, away from our fear.
We are appreciative of Adina’s support to help raise both money and awareness for survivors of intimate partner abuse. If you are interested in joining our team, we have slots available for the Chicago Half Marathon and 5K on Sunday, September 23. Hop into spring training and reap the benefits in the fall with breathtaking views of Chicago on the course. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
A SHALVA client sheepishly told her therapist that she used part of the gift card we gave her to buy a few flowers for her two empty planters. She said they gave her beauty in her world again. “Every day I see the flowers, I am reminded that someone cares. Thank you whoever you are. The joy the gift gave me will forever be embedded in my heart.”
Flowers are a wonderful symbol of hope, so SHALVA hosted a Moms and Mums outreach event on Thursday, May 10 to celebrate Mother’s Day. Participants gathered at Random Acts of Flowers in Evanston to learn about SHALVA and create bouquets to take home and deliver to local area hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Thank you to our hosts and participants!
*Lady Bird Johnson
Our luncheon speaker Cara Brookins made a big, bold decision to build her own home. She started with YouTube videos and raw materials, and ended up with a beautiful home for her family. Here at SHALVA, we provide clients with the tools they need to lay their own foundation for their future. Please join us on Wednesday, June 20 to hear this amazing story and be inspired to do something big in your own life. Click here to register
SHALVA is excited to have secured tickets to the Sunday, March 3, 2019 matinee performance of Dear Evan Hansen. More information to follow in July!