That’s Mike Freed, client, friend, and fellow alumnus of Jacksonville University. We’re proud to boast about his efforts to raise awareness and funds for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. His first marathon of marathons (6 days, 1 marathon per day, from Tallahassee to Jacksonville along U.S. 90) garnered attention. His 2.0 version in 2018 included teams of more than 100 runners to run with him and the support of Jacksonville’s Baptist Health Foundation which offered matching funds. The fundraising is to benefit the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership. This organization provides legal counsel for children and families faced with pediatric medical conditions (for more information – see www.jaxlegalaid.org/freedtorun/). I asked Mike how he came up with this idea. He said he tried to think of how he could help others while using something that was a part of his life – running. After looking at a map, he realized that a route along U.S. 90 from Tallahassee to Jacksonville gave him the opportunity to use the courthouses as a destination along the way. The route is over 150 miles. The finish line was at the Duval County Courthouse, where a celebration ensued. The 2018 run raised over $400,000 for the Legal Air program. A couple of pairs of shoes may have been sacrificed for the effort, but what a great way to bring people together for a great cause. What can you do to help others?
Congratulations to Mike Freed! David and I are proud to know such a wonderful person. I know a lot of people who jog, who are marathon runners, and who run various other types of races (including mud runs), however, I have never known anyone, other than Mike Freed, who has found a creative way to use his running hobby to help people. Instead of just running from point A to point B for exercise, or a competition, Mike has channeled his energy into sponsoring a worthy cause. For the reader who doesn’t know about Legal Aid organizations, their purpose is to provide pro bono (that is, free) high quality legal advice and representation to disadvantaged people. I have known many people who volunteer their legal services at various legal aid organizations in Florida. Funding sources for legal aid organizations are usually law firms and other corporations, however, they are largely dependent on their volunteers to provide much needed legal assistance to people who cannot afford to hire an attorney. Mike Freed’s efforts ensure that the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership will be able to help children with complex legal and medical issues. Providing this type of assistance is truly a team effort. I commend Mike for using his running hobby to help those in need.