There is a special bond between the community members BoMF serves and the volunteers who make it all possible. This video, created by the Philadelphia chapter, beautifully illustrates the depths of that bond and how Back on My Feet breaks down societal barriers to allow people from all walks of life make strong and lasting connections. And although any volunteer will tell you that they get back as much from our members as they give, we know that we can’t do what we do without them.

Here in San Francisco, as we continue to spread our message and answer the call to action during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, we would like to highlight some incredible people that make up one of the most important pieces of the BoMF community – our volunteers.

Back on My Feet is as successful as it is because of the individuals who are willing to lace up at 5:45 AM and push one another to succeed. Our volunteers do more than place one foot in front of the other; they start meaningful conversations, laugh, smile, and share parts of their lives with our members. Brendon, a volunteer team leader at SOMA said it best, “Each and every time everyone gets together it becomes such a powerful group for all involved. All labels and backgrounds are thrown out the window and everyone gets to learn about each other for who they truly are and who they want to be.”

Earlier this year volunteers were asked their favorite thing about getting up in the mornings with their BoMF Family. Words like “camaraderie,” “positivity” and “community” came up time and time again. Below are just a couple of the inspired quotes from our San Francisco Chapter volunteers:

“The community. Hands down. It makes setting that 5AM alarm so easy. I look forward so much to my mornings with members and volunteers – the runs we go on today, the laughs we share, and the good news we celebrate.” -Linda, Team Tenderloin

“Learning from other people. Every time I finish a run with Back on My Feet I find that I’ve gained a new perspective from someone I’ve gotten to chat to during the run.” – Griffin, Team SOMA

“As members of the team, we all have good days and bad days – days where we are motivated and speedy and days where the victory is getting out to the circle.  We support each other based on where we are on any given day – pushing each other to be better versions of ourselves, but never letting anyone feel like a failure if his/her best effort has a different result than someone else’s.”  – Amelia, Team Tenderloin

Back on My Feet encourages an environment of compassion and understanding. The seemingly simple act of being there for someone else does not go unnoticed and is felt by both volunteers and members alike, week in and week out. By showing up to run or walk, volunteers and members establish connections and build relationships that have a real and lasting impact in each other’s lives.

Thank you to everyone who has played a role in this beautiful community over the last two years. If you haven’t yet and are interested in experiencing the camaraderie for yourself, sign up to become a volunteer today and start making an impact.