Archive for April, 2011

Why Do You Run?

April 21, 2011

Awareness Home Funding shared in our April e-newsletter that three of our employees are participating in the 2011 Riverbank Run.  They are running not only for personal reasons, but to also help In The Image and their S.H.O.E.S. program which provides shoes for at-risk students in three area school districts.  Last year they helped 9,000 kids and have a goal of helping with 12,000 pairs of shoes this year!

A link for each member of the Awareness Team is included if you would like to help area kids by supporting their run.  Let us introduce them to you.

Robin Baker began running 16 years ago because of the positive influence of her father, Al Owens.  Al has been very involved in the Grand Rapids racing community for over 35 years and has passed the passion to his daughter.  Robin also likes the aerobic base it gives her for all the other activities she enjoys.

This year Robin is participating in the 5k race.  Her main goal:  to run and have a good time with her friend Shanna and to pass the passion to Shanna’s son, Kendrick.

Robin said she particularly loves the Riverbank Run because it is a great race with high energy.  “I grew up in the crowd as a little girl, waiting at the finish line for the first, second and third places to come through” shared Robin.  “You always knew when they were approaching because you could hear the roar from the crowd getting closer and closer.  And then I would wait for my dad to finish, which he would never do until he found my mom in the crowd and stopped to give her a kiss and thank her for her support.  Now I use the Riverbank run to kick-off my summer of racing fun.  My husband and I are signed up for several weekend adventure races.”

To support Robin, follow this link: http://www.active.com/donate/intheimage2011/BakerR

Shanna Black has a unique perspective on this year’s race because of her son, Kendrick.  “We are very excited to do this event together. I’m hoping that he will enjoy his first race and we can start an annual tradition of running the Riverbank Run together.” 

Shanna started running like most to stay active and healthy.  This will be her second year running the Riverbank 5k Run and has a personal goal of simply beating her finishing time from last year.

Visit this page to encourage Shanna and Kendrick: http://www.active.com/donate/intheimage2011/Shanna-Kendrick

The third member of the Awareness Team is Anthony McCullough.  Anthony started running just last year because he didn’t think he could run a 5k.  He kept running after his first race as a method of exercise for himself and his dog.  “It was the best way to give my dog exercise.  When you have a tall 100lb Doberman just walking him does not get rid of the energy he has.  So we had to move to running.”

Anthony’s goals have expanded rather quickly since his first 5k last year.  He ran in a 10K also and this year can be seen in the 25k.  He has set a personal goal of finishing in 2 hours and 20 minutes, but the primary goal is to “mainly just finish”.

Let Anthony know you care by clicking on this link: http://www.active.com/donate/intheimage2011/amccullough

Please support our runners by encouraging their efforts.  However, the primary goal is to support area at-risk kids.  It is inspiring to see how a pair of shoes can make all the difference.

Where does YOUR Money Go?

April 12, 2011

Tax season is in full swing and the deadline for submitting your portion is fast approaching.  This year the deadline for filing your federal taxes has been extended by three days to April 18.  (In case you were wondering why, it is in observance of Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia.)  Your state taxes however, may still due by April 15.  Check with your state government office for your exact deadline.

The history of taxes and taxation take us back to our colonial days and part of the reason for our succession from Great Britain.  The beginning purposes of federal taxes in the United States though were to fund our war effort in the American Civil War.  Today besides funding war efforts, taxes pay for a wide variety of expenses and programs.  Not surprising though, most of us really don’t know where our tax dollars go within the federal budget.

We thought you might be curious.  Take a peek:

Social Security 20.4%
Defense 20.2%
Medicare 13.1%
Low-income Assistance 9.3%
Medicaid 7.9%
Net interest Payments 6.6%
Unemployment Compensation 4.7%
Veterans Affairs 3.1%
Education 2.9%
Law Enforcement & Homeland Security 2.4%
Transportation 2.3%
Health (not Medicare or Medicaid) 2.0%
Management of Federal Employees & Buildings 1.4%
Environmental Protection & Natural Resources 1.0%
Space & Science 0.7%
Agriculture 0.7%
Housing & Community Planning 0.6%
Social Services 0.6%
Foreign Aid 0.6%
Workplace Safety & Rights 0.5%
Diplomacy & Embassies 0.4%
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 0.4%
Energy 0.4%
Statistics & Weather 0.3%
Telecommunications 0.3%
Trade & Economic Development 0.3%
Native Americans 0.2%
Congress 0.2%
Post Office 0.1%
Arts & Culture 0.1%
District of Columbia <0.1%
White House <0.1%
Bailouts, Currency & Financial Regulation -3.7%

If you would like to know how this specifically applies to you.  Visit: thirdway.org/taxreceipt.  You can enter the amount of your federal taxes paid in 2010 to see exactly how much went to each category.  You can also review each category for a sub-list of what is included in each one and how those areas are divided.

Incidentally, as of January of this year our national debt was $14,025,215,218,709 of which every American has a share of $48,382.  Unfortunately, that amount is $5,768 more than it was in 2009.

If this information concerns you, get involved!  You can easily find out who your elected officials are and how to contact them by visiting: congress.org and simply entering your zip code under the “Get Involved” section.