Attention walkers, runners and Lighthouse friends and supporters! Here’s a great way to combine your passions for fitness, competitiveness and giving back to make a positive a difference in our community. Lighthouse will hold our inaugural Steps for Hope, a 5K, 10K and 1-mile walk/run fundraiser to help end hunger and homelessness on Sunday, Aug. 4. at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Southfield.
The event combines two formerly separate events — the Lighthouse Hunger Walk and the SOS End Homelessness Now 5K/10K into one big NEW event. As you may know, Lathrup Village-based South Oakland Shelter and Pontiac-based Lighthouse merged recently to provide a stronger collective response to homelessness and poverty.
Proceeds from the race will help Lighthouse purchase more food and expand its services. We operate food pantries in Clarkston and Pontiac and serve about 700 families each month with food and personal items.
“In order to provide these items, we have a number of donors from churches, schools, and businesses that support us,” said James McQueen, the pantry manager who also oversees community outreach for Lighthouse. “We also have an ongoing relationship with Gleaners Community Food Bank, Forgotten Harvest and Meijer’s Simply Give campaign, which provides gift cards to purchase food when necessary – but the need is great and we could use more help.”
Since the merger, Lighthouse also provides food and personal items to families placed into permanent supportive housing, and women with children in transitional housing as part of the PATH program.
“In the long term, we would like to have more space and more food so we can have families come through and collect items for themselves,” McQueen explains.
St. David’s Episcopal Church hosted the End Homelessness Now race for five straight years and raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars, said the Rev. Chris Yaw, Rector at St. David’s. The church was a founding member of SOS in 1985, hosts shelter guests at least once a year and hosts an annual Christmas party.
“We are so excited this year, because we are bringing two amazing organizations and two amazing events together. Our race time will start a little later and we’re hoping to appeal, for the first time, to walkers and families who are looking to stay in shape and support this worthy mission as well as our usual runners and others who’ve attended in the past,” Rev. Yaw said.
The run/walk starts and finishes at the church and follows a clockwise loop through a residential neighborhood (two loops for the 10K). There will be awards for overall winners, top two finishers from each age group, largest teams and most money raised by individual entrants and teams. A hearty breakfast — donations are appreciated — and family-friendly celebration ceremony activities await at the finish line.
Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are still available. Advance registration starts at just $15 for the 1-mile race and costs $30 for the 5K and $35 for the 10K. Same-day registration is available at the race site, but prices for each distance go up by $5.
Visit the Steps for Hope website for more information or to register. We’ll see you at the race!