Christian Lisowski Finishes The Race!

Christian Lisowski is a Medtronic employee hoping to raising awareness and funds for the Sulzbacher Center’s medical services by competing in the Marathon Des Sables, also known as “the toughest footrace on earth.” Checkout his final update below.

Man in desert with camel

Final MDS update from Christian Lisowski:

Wow! I can’t believe it’s over. This has been an incredibly challenging, but rewarding and absolutely beautiful week. Today we completed the 11 mile UNICEF charity stage and transferred back to Ouarzazate. The stage was fantastic. Completely runable, with a start over a very tiny dune field covered in camel grass. Then we transitioned to a somewhat rocky plain which was covered with acacia trees which looked very similar to the Serengeti. The course then wound through a dry riverbed into the outskirts of a small mud villa town to the finish.

This type of stage race presents it own challenges, running is the least of which. The self sufficiency of food and other supplies, the primitive camping for a week and then the heat. It never got below 100 during the day, which makes anything difficult. The journey however is a once in a lifetime way to intimately experience a remote part of the world. The scenery was stunning, the local people along the way were warm, and the race itself was a marvel of logistics, organization, and entertainment.

I want to thank everyone who sent well wishes and cheered me on along the way, it meant a great deal to me and picked me up through some very low points. I’m back in Ouarzazate (I can finally spell and pronounce it) and will be meeting Linda and the kids in Marrakesh later this evening. I look forward to seeing you back home!

Christian

How to Make Blessing Bags for the Homeless

Blessing Bag Main Image

Blessing Bags are gallon Ziploc bags filled with toiletries and nonperishable food items. These bags are extremely helpful to organizations with outreach teams that serve the homeless.

Between 2014 and 2015, the Sulzbacher Center’s Homeless Outreach Project Expansion (HOPE) medical outreach program provided outreach support to more than 5,000 people still living on the streets.  Because of the support from the community, our HOPE Teams are able to distribute clothing, blankets, food, water, and basic hygiene items to the homeless.

Check out the Sulzbacher_Annual Report_2015 for more impact stats. 

Blessing Bags are an easy, inexpensive way to help those in need and you can make them in the comfort of your home with family and friends.

Here’s how:

  • Identify a charity in need. 

While every charity loves a generous supporter with a willing spirit, it’s important to identify a charity to accept the donations before you begin your project.  Many organizations have restrictions on the kinds of donations they can accept. For some, storage space is often limited and needs change on a regular basis.

  • Decide on the contents. 

Here’s a list of items you can include in your Blessing Bags: bottled water/ juice box, granola bars, instant oatmeal packets, mints /hard candy/ gum, multipurpose wipes, compact First Aid Kit, socks, chap stick, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, prepaid phone card,insect repellent, sunscreen,razors, feminine products, and a personal note of encouragement.

list of items to put in blessing bags for the homeless
Here’s an example of a blessing bag we created using a variety of donated items.

Keep in mind that most organizations that work with homeless individuals and families cannot accept mouthwash donations because mouthwash generally contains alcohol.

It’s also nice to include a resource guide for your area. Here’s an example of what we include in our Blessing Bags:

Blessing Bag Resource Guide Image

  • Package and Deliver
blessing bags in progress
Volunteers from COACH created more than 100 Blessing Bags for our HOPE Teams in April 2016.

This is the fun part. You can host a packing party among family and friends to create dozens of Blessing Bags for people in need. Be sure to package your donations neatly so that they may be temporarily stored if needed and label the bags to identify any gender specific contents. For example, if you decide to create different Blessing Bags for men and women, you should label some with m’s and others with f’s as w’s tend to cause confusion. Work with your charity of choice to arrange a delivery date and time and try your best to work within the organization’s regular business hours.

For more information about in-kind donation needs at the Sulzbacher Center, visit: http://www.sulzbachercenter.org/content/kind-donations

Jasmine Souers

 

Christian Lisowski is Nearing The End of The Marathon Des Sables

Christian Lisowski is a Medtronic employee hoping to raising awareness and funds for the Sulzbacher Center’s medical services by competing in the Marathon Des Sables, also known as “the toughest footrace on earth.” Wish him well by sending him encouraging words at marathondessables.com, Christian Lisowski, bib # 544.

Checkout his latest update below:

CL4

Here is Christian Lisowski‘s official update:

Stage 4 – Ba Hallou to Hassi Tarfa – 84.3km

This was the biggie. 52 miles through the roughest terrain I have ever run. We began the day 5 miles in with a steep technical climb needing rope holds over a 800m peak. To start the day like this was really hard on the mental state. As I crested the peak, exhausted, I realized I had 46 more miles. The terrain on this leg was some of the most breathtaking yet, I can’t wait to post pics once I get WiFi. (We have the ability to send 1 email a day limited to 1000 character). This stage was through the night and at one point I was totally by myself on a dried out flat lake, the desert sky was really beautiful. I really struggled the last 10 miles, just wiling myself to keep moving. Finally at 5AM the next morning, I crossed the finish line and my emotions really came out, I was overjoyed to have made it past that stage. I’m spending today recovering as we have the last day of racing tomorrow a full marathon, then the UNICEF stage.
Can’t wait to talk with everyone.


Christian

Donate now to help him raise $1,000 in 6 days for the Sulzbacher Center: http://www.sulzbachercenter.org/content/run-christian

Christian Lisowski clears stage 3!

Christian Lisowski is a Medtronic employee hoping to raising awareness and funds for the Sulzbacher Center’s medical services by competing in the Marathon des Sables, also known as “the toughest footrace on earth.” Wish him well by sending him encouraging words at marathondessables.com, Christian Lisowski, bib # 544 and check-out his latest update below:

cl3

Stage 3 – 23 miles
Another day of dunes, but these weren’t nearly as high as day 1. There were almost 100 degrees yesterday and this morning, the temp was 107. Today my strategy was active recovery. I was able to get calories and water today which was crucial after not being able to yesterday. According to veterans, this has been an unusually tough year. There is a nervous energy in camp; the 50-mile stage starts tomorrow. The terrain is incredibly tough so 50 miles on exhausted legs and spirit is intimidating but I feel like I am rested and ready and will formulate my strategy in the tent tonight. I wish I could send pics, but I am limited to 1000 characters and no attachments.

Thank you all for sending email, I can’t describe how much it lifts my spirits. I look forward to sharing all pics when I get home.


Christian

Donate now to help him raise $1,000 in 6 days for the Sulzbacher Center: http://www.sulzbachercenter.org/content/run-christian.