Our Place's 5K race is tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. This is something I am proud to support. In face, if you contribute by buying a $100 raffle ticket, one of the "door prizes" is a private lunch with me. Below is some info on Our Place from their website where you can learn more about the race and sponsorships.
Founded in 1998, Our Place employs a multi-faceted approach to counseling, rehabilitating and guiding troubled Jewish youth in their return to mainstream society. When a teen enters Our Place for the first time, the first thing he/she experiences is a friendly greeting from a member of our staff. They may be coming to "hang out," or have heard it's a place to shoot some pool or work out. They come in carrying heavy baggage - substance abuse, expulsion/dropping out of school and/or estrangement from parents. The system failed them, and they are highly distrustful of figures of authority and structured environments. So, a simple "what's up, nice to meet you" from the staff is all they receive. The interview comes later. Later still, the teen slightly lowers defenses, realizing that in everything Our Place is offering, the only catch is that someone cares about them, and has faith in them. In time, maybe they will realize the needs to talk to someone, and turn to a staff member at Our Place, perhaps the first adult in a long time that has earned their trust and respect. They begin the road to realizing that they want more out of life. This requires dealing with the "baggage" and for the first time, they have the opportunity to do so. This scenario, with many variations, is played out over and over at Our Place. Our Place provides troubled youth with a second chance; an opportunity to serve as a source of everlasting pride to their family, community and Jewish heritage.