BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Marathon is more than just a race. It brings people together to test their endurance on the course and a community’s commitment to helping others in need.
Trainer Rob Vasquez runs the marathon for FamilyAid Boston, a non-profit organization that provides solutions to homeless families in Greater Boston.
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“You are running for a cause; you’re running into a goal, ”said Rob. “You are running for someone. You are running for a community.
Rob was introduced to the association through his trainer client, Jim Partridge of Newton. The pair got close as Rob continued to push Jim to go harder, faster, and harder in his workouts. And Jim did just that.
“He was one of the most energetic and motivating in the gym. As well as in life, ”Jim told WBZ.
Rob says their relationship means a lot to him. “It has become a great friendship. It turned out that I would do anything for him.
Jim had already run the Boston Marathon for FamilyAid Boston in 2013 and wanted to do it again. However, a cancer diagnosis put that goal on the back burner. Instead, Rob will run for Jim.
“It really is,” Jim paused and bit back tears. “Sorry. It’s very emotional. It’s special to see someone who is so dear to me experiencing the joy that I may have felt.
And Jim says he’ll be at mile 17 to give his friend a big hug and give him the motivation to keep going.
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“I’m not a big crier, but that will be the point,” Rob said.
And their efforts in the marathon benefit families who really need the help, like Khanisha Felder and her daughter Serenity of Dorchester. Khanisha says she and Serenity slept in a car most nights before FamilyAid Boston’s help.
“I remember having to go to Dunkin Donuts to wash myself. Wash her and change her clothes in a Dunkin Donuts.
This despite Khanisha’s work. She still had difficulty finding accommodation.
“When we were sleeping in the car it was very scary. And just be alone. It was very scary.
But, things have improved dramatically over the past year for this mom and daughter, thanks to FamilyAid Boston.
“I am able to cook my own meals. I can take a shower. I’m just able to feel comfortable, happy, and secure.
And November will be a happy month for Khanisha and Serenity as they mark the first anniversary of their lives in their own apartment.
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You can donate to FamilyAid Boston through the Boston Marathon donation site, https://www.givengain.com/cc/familyaidboston/.