The Second Running of Tower Hill’s ‘Race for Haiti’s Children’ 5k will be held on Saturday, April 21st 2012. The race will take place at First Presbyterian Church in Red Bank at 8:30am. Proceeds from this event will benefit the children of Haiti. We are hoping to raise awareness of the plight of Haitian orphans, and support organizations that are working toward building a promising future in Haiti and giving hope to these children.
HAITI, AGAIN? WHY?
On Saturday, April 21, 2012, First Presbyterian Church at Red Bank-Tower Hill will be holding its second “Race for Haiti’s Children” 5K run/walk. Why this event? Why another fundraiser for Haiti? Why support the children?
This race event is being organized by Tower Hill specifically to focus on children of Haiti.
As a member of Tower Hill’s Team Haiti, not only do I get asked the question of “why?” from others, I ask it myself – all the time. The answers are simple: Tower Hill, the benefactors, and above all, the children. These reasons motivate our team, and strengthen our resolve to work hard. They energize us to set aside time from our family and day jobs, and drive us to aid Haiti.
We want to do more than write a check because ‘active’ volunteer work is a rare occasion where the sum of the parts is actually greater than the whole. What we get back is more than what we put in. A 5K event provides a chance to offer that opportunity to others – to actively participate.
To my first question – “Why This Race?” For me, the answer is clear; Tower Hill. I am not a member of the church. I am not even a member of the Presbyterian faith. I have a different perspective than members of Tower Hill because dogma is not what draws me to Tower Hill. What draws me; or rather what attracts me to Tower Hill is the feeling of community I get from the people there. They accept me and offer me the spirit of belonging with no strings attached. I feel ‘a part of’ and am offered many opportunities to make a difference.
Very specifically, it is Tower Hill’s ‘willingness’ to embrace and offer ‘mission’ opportunities and also their demonstration of ‘responsibility’ for their fellow man that attracts me. It is that same willingness that delivers the 5K. I have yet to find any institution (religious or civic) with such open doors or the disposition to support others so completely.
To my next question – “Why another fundraiser for Haiti?” And, “Haven’t we given enough?” The answer is: the benefactors of the race. Four benficiaries have been selected – Danita’s Children, Aslan Youth, Kid’s Alive and Edeyo. Specific details for each are available at http://raceforhaitischildren.com/our-benefactors/.
All four are focused on children. But, all four take it a step farther. They do not simply just feed, clothe, or ‘save’ the children. All four of these organizations change the children. And thereby, these benefactors will change Haiti because they are instilling a sense of pride, gratitude, perspective, and excellence in the children.
The kids in the care of these teams will grow up unlike any other children in Haiti because they are being taught essential ideals which will not let them accept the current state of the country. In kind, they are teaching their children these ideals the very same way our children learn from us.
The root problem of Haiti is that a generation of people have been raised believing that the present state of Haiti cannot be changed. The children in the care of our benefactors believe differently. They will act differently. They will affect the change over a period of time we all expect to see immediately.
So to my third question – “Why support the children?”. This is the easiest to answer. Aside from what I have already stated above in regards to changing Haiti, these children are most vulnerable and desperate. This is the simplest question to answer due to the stark facts and statistics we know to be true:
- There are 450,000 orphans with 300,000 in some type of ‘service’ or illicit trade
- Child mortality rates are eleven times that of the United States
- The most common causes of child death are measles, malaria and diarrhea (all but eradicated in most of the world)
There are a lot more statistics, but what is truly shocking is these horrific events are occurring less than 500 miles away from United States borders.
Again, why the children? The answer is because these statistics are not “ok.” They can no longer be “ok” as we all know better. These children desperately need advocates. If they were our children – yours and mine – would we not want someone to advocate for them?
Not everyone is able to visit Haiti. This event provides an opportunity to play some part in being actively involved. Many people want to help but they are unsure how. This 5K allows people a chance to do something meaningful, focused, and have an impact while staying local. The local community is also able to engage in hands-on work. Writing a check is good. Hands-on is great. The rewards of doing a good deed are huge and will keep you coming back. We invite you to be a ‘part of.’
The race will start and finish at Tower Hill Church and wind through the streets of Little Silver and Red Bank. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved. The team is not only looking for runners/walkers, but also for sponsors and volunteers to help before and during the event.
Anyone interested in being a volunteer should contact Kim Beacher at email@example.com . Potential sponsors should contact Tare Chaney at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the race, logistics, donations and to register to run/walk, please visit www.raceforhaitischildren.com .