When NeighborLink began brainstorming ways to incorporate athletics to raise money that goes back into NL projects, Team NeighborLink was born. Over the years it has continued to grow, and there is now athletic gear for adults and kids, the Night Moves Running Series, the Ambassador program, and this year a cyclocross team.
Cyclocross is a high-intensity bike course, and there are races all around the region the team participates in. Team members will do anywhere from 7-15 races throughout the season.
When the Executive Director and leader of the Team NL, Andrew Hoffman, put the cyclocross team together, he did so with a goal in mind: To raise money and awareness for neighbors in need. He wanted to combine his own personal passion for cycling, as well as call on the community that has developed around Team NL over the years to use their skills and passion for cycling to give back to the community in a practical way.
The team is racing this season with their own personal goals in mind. But beyond just pushing themselves physically this season, they have all come together to combine their love for cycling and their desire to care for those in need. As well as thinking through what being a good neighbor means for them personally, they are actively trying to live it out and raise $6000+ to fund several furnace projects for the cold winter months.
Each team member loves being able to tell the story that they ride/race as a way to raise awareness for vulnerable neighbors in need. They all have a deep love for cycling and caring for others.
We are grateful to have people in the community who are devoted to using their skills and passions in unique ways to give back to those who are in need.
The Sacrifice of Giving-a story told by Kami Mackin, NeighborLink FW
As my (Kami) time at NeighborLink begins to wind down, I can’t help but reflect on a particular shift in my mentality that I am trying to grasp, trying to choose more to live out.
I am continually reminded of the story of the elderly woman in the Bible who put two coins into the offering – everything she had to live on. In her poverty, Jesus said, she gave more than the wealthy who threw in large amounts. The more I read about her, the more I keep coming back to this idea of sacrificial giving.
As one friend put it, people like the idea of other people giving. As I have begun to observe the habits of humanity, I have found something to be true about myself and others: We want to give within the means of our comfort.
We see the needs of others, but we can’t always figure out how to help without it impacting our lives. But I’m beginning to wonder if that’s even possible.
If we are truly giving of ourselves, if we are truly loving our neighbor as ourselves, then there will be an element of sacrifice involved. Time, resources, energy, money, whatever it might be. I’m 100% guilty of this. I give what little I can to ease my conscience, then carry on and not disturb the rhythm of my life’s routine.
I’m convinced, though, that there is a part of freedom that we miss when we give only out of the means of our comfort. The elderly woman could have just not given at all, or given only a coin. But she gave until it (probably) hurt. She gave it all. I can’t figure out why though. Why did she give it all? What freedom in sacrificial giving did she find that a lot of us are missing? What would it look like if we all started giving until it hurt? What if we went above and beyond giving of our resources to those around us?
What if we gave all that we had, even in our poverty, and gave sacrificially?
I don’t have answers, but I hope you’ll join me in this struggle of learning to live in a way that stretches beyond what is comfortable in ways that feel both painfully sacrificial, yet relentlessly freeing.
Giving back is what it is all about at NeighborLinks.