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As most of you already know, Mike and I are running in Colfax Marathon relays again this year to raise support for Friends for Youth.   We’re running next Sunday…and neither of us have done much training for it!  Eek!  Here’s a pic of us after our race last year!

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I have worked at Friends for Youth for over four years now, but it’s more than a job to me.  It’s my ministry.  My primary role is Match Coordinator, directly supporting the relationship between volunteer mentors and at-risk youth.  I’ve had the chance to play a small part in some pretty big things this past year.  I can’t show you pictures of the actual kids, but I wanted to show you some pictures of Meagen and I over this past year.

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We’ve gone up to the mountains to ride horses once a month.  One of the kiddos that went up once had never been to the mountains before.  He and his family were living in a hotel when I met them and he spends most of his day playing video games.  He and his mentor rode horses for the first time and he told me that this was his favorite activity over the past three years of their match.

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Friends for Youth provides fun activities for our matches to do together.  It serves two purposes: 1) it helps to build their relationships and 2) it gives the youth a chance to try something they may never had had the opportunity to do otherwise.  One of my favorite activities was to do a ropes course with Meagen.  After climbing to the very top of a telephone poll, Meagen looked down at me and said, “you have me, Jess?” and I said, “I’ve got you, girl” and she jumped off and grabbed the hanging trapeze!  You can’t teach someone to trust in a more tangible way than that!

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Anyway, our goal is to raise $2,000, which is the cost of supporting a match for a year.  Please consider making a tax deductible donation to help us reach this goal and allow Friends for Youth to continue changing the lives of youth in the Denver area.  To donate, visit www.givingfirst.org/FFYmarathon and put “Jess and Mike” in the notes section.  Thanks to all of you who have already done so!! =)

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