On April 21st, we will be hosting our 15th annual Miracle Miles for Kids. It will be a time to celebrate as a community and to look back on how this amazing 10k started, and the impact it has had on the most vulnerable children and families on the Central Coast.
Miracle Miles for Kids (MM4K) was first launched in 2004 out of a need to increase our fundraising efforts to meet our community’s needs. Our state was in the grips of a recession, which was causing our County government to retract and decrease its referrals for placements. At our annual Strategic Planning meeting, Jim Roberts informed our staff what the agency and those we serve were facing in regards to the financial crisis, and called on staff to brainstorm cost-saving and revenue-increasing ideas.. Fundraising became a key component and Miracle Miles for Kids and Benefit for Kids (formally Taste of the Central Coast) were officially born. “Incredibly, we successfully planned and launched Miracle Miles for Kids in about six weeks,” Jim recently reflected, “The logistics involved in this event were amazing. We had to plan everything. Our FCNI team was incredible.” Thankfully, the first year of MM4K was a huge success! In total, there were 389 participants and together they raised over $28,000. The impact of this first year not only saved FCNI financially, but it was also a key component to changing lives in our community.
Since 2004 and the launch of the event, MM4K has raised over $1.5 Million and has impacted over 12,000 lives on the Central Coast. This event would not be possible without our community’s commitment to Family Care Network and our efforts. Our mission is, “To enhance the wellbeing of children and families in partnership with our community” stressing how vital our community’s partnership is to us, helping us to support people from all walks of life on the Central Coast. People with different stories who are all working for better lives. When a child or family is able to live happier, healthier lives, and achieve their goals, not only does it create a positive impact on those people, but also positively impacts the people who surround them, making for a stronger community. We are all better because of their success.
Success can come at any age in a person’s life. Alison was a young girl who entered the foster care system at age 16. With no family help or support, Alison’s dream of one day attending a University felt futile. However, while in care, Alison was able to learn independent living skills and receive financial and emotional support to apply to college, visit a college campus for the first time and equip herself for her first year of college. Alison is now a college grad ready to pursue a Master’s Degree in Social Work at USC.
Success can also come in different forms. David, was a man who always wanted to be a good provider for his family. Unfortunately, he experienced a lot of trauma which caused him to struggle with unmet mental health needs and addiction issues. These problems impacted his ability to provide for his two children, Molly and Manny. To get sober and heal, David entered a Residential Rehabilitation Center. While in rehab, both of his children were placed in protective care. Following his inpatient program, David continued with outpatient services, and he and his children were referred to FCNI’s Familia de Novo program to receive critical support as they worked towards possible reunification. Familia de Novo assisted David in his efforts to become successfully self-sufficient, as well as his children’s efforts to heal and flourish while in Foster Care. David received mental health services, supportive guidance from an FCNI Family Partner and, through community donations, was able to purchase a reliable car for transportation and secure affordable housing. Additionally, with their team’s help, David and his children successfully rebuilt their relationship and David has maintained his sobriety. Today, David and his children are reunified, and David recently started college with the goal of becoming a Social Worker. While Familia de Novo provided necessary support services and resources to help the family reach their goals, they are the family they are today because of David’s strong love and motivation to become a healed man and better parent.
Success, for some, means family; whether it involves keeping one together or helping to expand one. Josh, Ali and their daughter, Gabby, all wanted to add to their family by adopting through FCNI. One day, a pair of two-week old twins were born, and were in the Neonatal Care Unit due to possible prenatal exposure to alcohol. Josh and Ali took the opportunity to care for them, knowing that it could be a temporary or a permanent situation. Despite their fear of becoming too attached, the couple knew that in order to truly meet the boys’ needs, they needed to put their whole hearts into caring for them. The twins’ birth mother, despite the support she received, decided she wasn’t ready to be a mother and gave up her parental rights; demonstrating not only her love for her children but also her desire to put their needs first. Josh, Ali and Gabby are now Luke and Benny’s forever family, and together they get to celebrate the boys’ amazing growth and development--all because of the love showered over them both by their birth mother and their new family.
These are just three examples of what kind of programs and services Miracle Miles for Kids helps make possible. We love seeing people at Morro Rock on race day. It’s a fun experience for all involved, and really incredible to see friends, families, and even coworkers accomplish a 10k together. But the support provided through this fun event goes way beyond race day. When the last person crosses the finish line and MM4K is over, the impact of the funds raised goes to work immediately to improve lives. And you never know who you might be supporting. It might be your neighbor, a child in your kid’s class, a teen at your church or maybe even a co-worker and their family. While we celebrate the amazing work the funds raised through MM4K over the last 15 has done, we need to continue working together--we need your help to do even more! Registration is open for this year’s race and we encourage everyone to sign up, spread the word and raise pledges! We truly can’t do this without you! We need your help to continue to change lives right here in our community.