Why I Run

Marina and her son, Michael, after completing the Orange County Half Marathon.

On March 8th I will set out to run my very first marathon, the Los Angeles Marathon. 26.2 grueling miles from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier. I know nothing short of heart and grit will get me through it, but I’m up for the challenge. 😉 Running, after all has become my thing over the past few years. It is a way for me to be my best self…especially when I feel like I’m in a sea of worry and uncertainty. It has become a way for me to heal the scars of my past.

Donate Now!

Why the LA Marathon? To put it simply, humanity! I’ve worked for Habitat for Humanity Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) for just over 2 years. But it’s not just my workplace, it holds a special place in my heart. My everyday work is based on the idea that everyone deserves a decent place to live. One in four residents lack decent, affordable housing. Yet, affordable housing is the foundation on which families thrive. FAMILIES!

Did you know children of homeowners:

  • Have a higher rate of academic success (including better grades and higher levels of education)
  • Are less likely to have a baby before 18
  • Have lower incidence of respiratory problems
  • Eventually earn more
  • Are more likely to become homeowners themselves

Marina, her husband Stephen (left) and son Michael (bottom) smiling in front of their brand new home the day they got their keys!

Poverty is a REALLY crazy thing! I say this not from stats or from hearing the stories of the families we serve, but from my life, from my family’s life. By the time I was in the 6th grade I had already attended 7 different schools. While my childhood was filled with love and compassion, it in many ways lacked stability and security. My parents often had to make the decision between putting dinner on the table or paying the electricity bill. From one eviction to the next, in search of reasonable rent, finding a safe and healthy environment was an ongoing challenge. For us, for my family, a “home” wouldn’t have freed us of all our struggles, but for so many it will, and it does.

Each morning that I return home from a run I turn down our block, a beautiful tree-lined street where our home sits, it is not lost on me how fortunate we are. How fortunate our son Michael is, for us to be able to provide him this stability, a steady place to call home, a place to retreat, a place to feel safe, a place he knows, a place he can thrive. I’m running the LA Marathon: To bring awareness to the importance of home, to raise dollars to help families achieve their dream of home and to share the HUMANITY of home.

Through home, Habitat LA breaks the cycle of poverty and improves the lives of families for generations to come. Through HOME we EMPOWER. Join me by donating here!