Founder’s Story of LSA’s Run Home – Ramaswamy Ranganathan
LSA’s Run Home 2021 edition has two primary goals – to provide a virtual platform for LSA supporters to develop a consistent, dedicated and disciplined exercise routine (run/walk or hike) with goal race distances and to use this as a fundraising tool for LSA’s mission.
My name is Ranga, and I have been a Board member of LSA since Jan 2020. I have been running consistently for the past 32 years and participating in marathon races since 1995. I started to be part of a large running group (OmRun) since its inception in 2010. The main goal of this group was to engage non-runners with a training program to complete half and full marathons and OmRun has been successful to hold their own races since 2010. As part of the training program, I have been blessed to coach and mentor several runners.
Since I joined LSA as a board member, I approached this dedicated group of OmRunners to run and raise funds for LSA in 2020, especially when the pandemic was at its peak and most live races were cancelled. The group successfully put in about 10,000 miles collectively and raised over $75,000 for LSA. Now, we are ramping up for this in 2021.
My daughter, Sitara, is in the Cambrian home at LSA. LSA is very near and dear to my heart as it has provided a forever home for Sitara and has allowed her to be independent and live her best life possible. When my wife and I were initially exploring residential care homes in the Bay Area, we came across great ones, but not ones that were a good fit for Sitara. When we found LSA and took a house tour, we just knew, “It felt good, it felt right.” Sitara is now living in Cambrian with 4 other wonderful women, and this is a dream come true for my daughter’s happiness.
With both of my passions for running and supporting the I/DD community, LSA’s Run Home was born. Starting this race fundraiser for LSA gave me the ability to give back through my passion of running to help my daughter and her fellow LSA friends and residents live a fulfilling, independent, and very deserving life.
LSA does an incredible job in opening each LSA home. LSA thoughtfully designs and personalizes the home in order to meet the needs of all the residents.
The first step to creating an LSA home is purchasing a house. LSA homes house 4-6 individuals, and each resident has their own bedroom, so LSA searches in Santa Clara County for a large home in a welcoming, safe neighborhood. It’s important the residents enjoy a sense of community while also maintaining the privacy they need to thrive. Once LSA has the house, renovations are often needed to make it a comfortable and accessible home for residents. It’s very important residents can move about their home with ease. As part of the renovation, LSA looks at opportunities to open up the living space and upgrade existing infrastructure. LSA houses are not homes until the residents can move in with all the amenities they expect in a home – a comfortable bed, furnishings and everything else needed to create a welcoming environment. Each resident has their own room to personalize and make their own.
And most of all, LSA’s staff is what completes the homes for LSA residents. LSA staff provide the most dedicated care to each resident. LSA places a great deal of energy into screening, hiring and training the 15-20 care providers in each home that are with the residents 24/7. LSA is proud that its staff embraces the inclusive environment that LSA families have come to expect with the absolute best care.
This 2021 year is the beginning of broadening this running and fundraising platform by conducting a virtual challenge that can have participation throughout the USA, North America, and maybe even around the globe. Races of 5K,10K, half and full marathon can be run or walked virtually anywhere between Sep 17, 2021 and Oct 31, 2021. Also, in this time period, one can register to run/walk a cumulative 100 miles or 200 miles. All races are priced at a reasonable price and all participants will get a t-shirt and a medal. We look forward to a good participation and have the runners and walkers to donate, outreach their friends and families to donate to a noble cause to provide quality community homes for the adults with developmental disabilities.
With your participation in this run and your generous donations, we can help LSA continue its mission of creating home and changing lives, and giving adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to live the best possible lives. This vulnerable population truly deserves it, and I am asking for your help and support. Thank you.