“For a person to make a difference in the world, he must be different than the world.” – Orrin Woodward
The following Life on Life story was submitted by Life Customer, Hope Syzmanski:
Three months ago, my dad (Terry Szymanski) and I were sitting at the Life Convention in Des Moines, Iowa when we heard Tim Ballard, CEO of Operation Underground Railroad, speak about human trafficking.
We knew we had to do something, but we had not decided exactly what.
That all changed when I got rejected from a program I really wanted to be in.
The news I received was not the news I was absolutely sure I was going to get. But I was determined to try again to get accepted into the company that had declined my application. I needed to work on some things, get better, and be ready for the next time.
So, since I knew I wanted to do something in the area of marketing, sales, and event planning, I decided to run a campaign and work on some projects. For starters, I began reading several books at once, listening to positive audios, and learning about marketing skills online.
Then, I thought of something!
I remembered the Life Convention back in July and I remembered how Life was going to be sponsoring a push-up contest for Operation Underground Railroad. I decided I would run my first campaign to benefit this charity. My dad came up with the marathon idea. Last year, Terry had run the Twin Cities Marathon with Life Member, Jeffrey Moulton. Terry was not planning on running again this year, but he decided to do it anyway to benefit this charity. However, instead of doing push-ups (because he hates push-ups), he told me that he would run the marathon, and I could manage the campaign.
It sounded fair enough to me.
We created several social media sites called Race for Freedom, and shared the idea online and via word of mouth. One of our good friends even offered to be a match donor and double every donation up to $10,000! He said this was the first cause that really stirred his heart in such a powerful way, and he felt called to make a difference in a big way.
“I’ve learned a lot more about the world of human trafficking, and the more I’ve learned about it, the more determined I became to reach our goal of raising $10,000. God calls us to take care of the least of these, and even more so, the children. I keep remembering the story of Jesus talking to the little children, and remembering how much He loves them. It makes me sick to think of how these people are hurting God’s innocent children.” – Hope Syzmanski
As of October 13th, 2017, we raised $5,216.84 (but doubled, that total became $10,433.68!😊)
Tomorrow, October 14th, Terry will do 1 push-up to symbolize the 26.2 miles he ran during the marathon!
Update submitted on October 15th, 2017:
During the Race for Freedom we raised around $5,000 for O.U.R, but by 2pm of the Life University Convention, our team pulled together (because Terry agreed to wear a lime green body suit for his push-ups if we hit the goal) to reach $10,025! Then, $10,000 was matched by one of our generous donors to make it $20,025 overall! In addition, thank you to Orrin and Laurie Woodward for matching the entire community’s funds raised for this contest in order to help free slaves of human trafficking. Special thanks to some of our team: Julie Vrieze, Josh Hall, Heather Wilcox, Jeff Moulton, and Hope Szymanski for leading the charge at the end to help us hit our goal!
By the way, Terry did more than 1 push-up!
At the Life University Convention in October, Life announced the top push-up contest winners and fundraising winners for the Operation Underground Railroad Life on Life Initiative. Life Member, Terry Szymanski won the category as the male who raised the most money and was also an overall winner for the push-up contest and was awarded an all-expense paid mission trip! Congratulations Terry, Hope, and all of your supporters for your hard work and creativity in this project. Your story is an inspiration!
If you were a part of this Life on Life Initiative in some way, we would love to hear from you in the comment section below!
Life on Life: Setting People Free