Keep the Faith 5K is a run full of blessings
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — For some people who are experiencing a crisis, it is a matter of finding safe shelter or accessing proper medical care when they come to seek help from two local nonprofits.
In order to continue assisting these individuals, the Faith Community Coalition for the Homeless (FCCH) and Good Samaritan Free Clinic (GSFC) will host the Keep the Faith 5k Saturday, Nov. 11 at Poor House Farm Park.
All of the proceeds raised from the event will benefit both organizations.
Marie Keegin, director of FCCH, said that the event is the organization’s primary fundraiser and a way to garner support for those in need in the community.
“It will be a fun day and a good way for churches and families to get together to help out the neediest in our community,” Keegin said.
Registration starts at 10 a.m. the day of the event. Advanced registration can be done through Eventbrite.com.
More than 100 participants are expected to attend this year’s 5k and those in attendance can donate a pair of socks for the homeless.
The cost of the event is $30; $20 for children and students and $60 for families and school sports teams. Registration deadline to receive a T-shirt has passed.
Participants can choose to run or walk along the park’s pathway and first-place prizes will be handed out after the race.
This year, participants will have an option of a color run in red, white, and blue in honor of Veteran’s Day. A ceremony will be also be held for the service members.
Participants who choose the color run are encouraged to wear a white shirt and protective eyewear.
Veterans and active military members can participate free of charge by showing their military I.D.
Lunch will be provided after the race which will include homemade desserts and corn muffins to go along with the contest.
A group of different churches will serve up their best batches of chili in what Keegin described as a “friendly competition,” officially known as the chili cook-off in which participants will have a chance to taste each kind.
According to Keegin, FCCH provides emergency housing to the homeless in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia when the shelters are full or unable to accommodate a person or family.
People in dire situations turn to the organization usually when all other resources have been depleted.
“We’re not trying to duplicate any efforts that are out there, but only serve as a way to fill in the gaps when other main resources may not be available,” Keegin said.
FCCH also partner with agencies to provide resources for our clients related to nutrition, permanent housing, sleeping bags, tents, blankets, respite facilities, and other support services.
The nonprofit is run by volunteers who have helped more than 200 homeless people - half of which are children, Keegin noted.
She also mentioned that FCCH has a limited fund reserved for families who are going through an extraordinary circumstance such as a job loss or an illness.
The assistance is meant to serve as a lifeline for families to help them avoid homelessness as they work to regain personal security.
In FCCH’s effort to combat homelessness, the organization has teamed up with Good Samaritan Free Clinic to serve individuals and families on a greater scale.
GSFC provides medical, psychological and spiritual care through a clinic downtown, street medicine, and outreach clinics in Berkeley County. The clinic is designed to serve clients who are either uninsured, underinsured, or individuals who do not have a primary care physician.
Like FCCH, the clinic also collaborates with several other community agencies and resources such as with West Virginia University’s Eastern Medical School.
The school’s medical school outreach program called, “Stepping Stones,” partner with GSFC to provide free medical care.
Keegin said that the event will consist of, “a lot of family fun,” and that the organizations serve as a blessing to those in the community who seek vital services.
“Sometimes resources are not always available for people who are in need, but for the grace of God we have organizations such as these to offer help,” Keegin said.