We just finished the round of 16 and we’re moving on to the round of 12 with a sixth-place finish at Dover. As far as being home for the week, we cannot begin to express the excitement both of us feel about sleeping in our own bed. We use Charlotte week as a time to catch up on house work and see friends and family. As great as it is to be home, this week is also one of our most busy work weeks. As many of you might know, Charlotte is the hub of racing so there is always a lot going on for work when the travelling circus shows up.
I think most racing families describe our lifestyle as “unique”. That might be an understatement. While we are rarely home, what a crime it would be to really complain about it. We try to embrace this lifestyle, and not take travelling for granted. We do this by taking every moment of free time (which is rarely more than a few hours) on a race weekend to explore the area, and discover the wonders of America. We have come to realize that beauty and excitement can be found right in our backyard. We don’t have to visit the 7 Wonders of the World to feel fulfilled. With all of the beautiful places we have been blessed to visit, some of the most memorable and breathtaking experiences have been made with organizations like the one we are supporting this week.
This week we are proud to announce The Relatives organization as the recipient of our Chasing Second Chances grant. Their youth center might not be as majestic as Watkins Glen State Park, or as calming of a sight as Michigan’s great lakes, but it is a place that will fill your heart with joy just the same. Its funny how feelings of joy, excitement, fear, etc. can be achieved in so many different ways, yet the actual “feeling” is the same.
This Week’s Cause: Youth in Crisis
Our cause this week is youth in crisis. We were both baffled to learn from the National Center on Family Homelessness, that one in 30 American children were homeless at some point last year. This is 2.5 million children. Many of these children are homeless as a result of being abuse or neglect. Abuse and neglect are also the main reason why, 800,000 children (if not homeless) find themselves in contact with the foster system. According to ABC news. What is astounding is 22,392 of these kids in 2014 “aged out” of the system. Whether they are on the street or in a foster home, these children and young adults did not deserve the hand they were dealt. Our foundations motto is to provide a “second chance”. For these millions of kids they just need “a chance”.
This Week’s Joey Logano Foundation Chasing Second Chances Non-Profit Partner: The Relatives
We were introduced to The Relatives in 2015. They provide a system of resources designed to help children and youth find shelter and support. They provide these resources through three programs. The first, known as the Crisis Center, we have had the opportunity to work with. This center houses children 7-17. The center is in a beautiful home that has a basketball court and a rec space in the backyard. On Christmas day last year, we had the honor of bringing dinner to the children. We ate, we played games, and we just enjoyed each other’s company.
The only thing we could think after touring the home for the first time and after meeting the children, was how scared they must be. To live in a new place, with new people, must be terrifying. After seeing the joy that playing simple games brought to the kids, we as a foundation decided to revamp their recreation room and create a space that was fun and light hearted for the kids. We realize no matter how nice the place, and how kind the people it does not change the situation they are in. Although fear resonates with these kids- fear of the now, and fear of the future-one thing is certain., these children have caring people watching out for them.
Something that attracted both of us so much to this organization is they don’t forget about the children that “age out” of the system Many of these young men and women do not have opportunities most children have. These children are now considered adults by our societies definition of the term, yet feel like children in adult bodies. In addition to the crisis center, On Ramp Resource Center serves young adults ages 16-24. Another program, Journey Place Transitional Residence, serves as a home for 6 adult males 18-21. The Relatives, and all its programs give chances to these youth. The chance to be given guidance, which gives them a direction, which hopefully gives them motivation to push through and not be a statistic.
We thank God everyday for our many blessings, as we all should. With these blessings though we realize we have a responsibility to contribute to those in need. Our goal as a foundation is to be someone else’s blessing. By working with organizations like The Relatives we can be a part of something so big. We can be a part of shaping young adults, who will eventually shape the future of our society.