Community and Leadership

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Giving back to the community and caring for the disadvantaged are unquestionably stemmed from my past. I have epilepsy and understand the feeling of being disadvantaged. This experience led me into the passion of caring for disabled children. Over the past five years, I volunteered with The Children’s Hospital Sports Program (TCH HSP) each season. TCH HSP gives kids with physical disabilities – cancer, amputations, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, head, and spinal cord injuries – the chance to cross build self-confidence for life. During this time I learned how the care of the mind and spirit are incredibly important.

I had the pleasure to ski with a child with cerebral palsy. The last day of my first season with the kid, Frank (the kid), had a terrible falling accident where it required ten stitches. I was challenged by the program manager and coach (since it was my first season) to spend more time with him during the summer season. We made a point to encourage Frank to come back to the program the next winter. We challenged Frank to press-forward and build self-confidence in order to get back on the skis and experience the mountain.

The next season – Frank got back on his skis with lots of instruction and work. We clearly instilled in his mind the following: 27But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.

It was a great season and Frank continued to be part of the program for the next seven years with great success! The children’s hospital has a motto that is modified from Winston Churchill’s saying: “Blood, sweat, and tears.”
Ours is: “Love, sweat, and cheers!”

-Mark

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  1. Emily Evans says:

    Your post is an inspiring one to read. I have a child with disabilities and between working 50 hours a week, school full time and my other three children time can be scarce. My husband and I push hard to ensure we give our children the time they need. We always want to be able to do more and encourage outhers in our situation as well. Leaders in the community like you who take the time to give back helps me to remember that time, while not infinite, can be found to do the things that matter most in this world.

    2 Corinthians 9:7
    Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

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