One of our goals at Kids Alive Peru is to increase in-country giving. A big force in pushing towards this goal has been our local board treasurer, Marco Villacorta, who along with his wife started an organization named Peru Generoso in order to spur on Peruvians to give generously towards Peruvian ministries. Earlier in the year Marco had the idea of a 5 km race to raise funds for us and Brazos Abiertos, another ministry to vulnerable children.
The original goal was to have 500 runners but a couple weeks before the race only about 150 had registered although others had committed verbally. In faith (and trepidation) Marco ended up ordering 500 shirts at the spurring of his wife. Sure enough with a week to go there was almost 400 and by the start of the race at 9 am this past Sunday, September 27th, 498 people had signed up. Praise God!
Kenzi Suzuki, from our local church, was the race organizer and did an incredible job. It is what he does for a living and he was looking for an opportunity to merge his work with his faith and didn’t think it was possible. It was awesome to see how God worked out all the details in providing us an expert and him an opportunity to serve the Lord with his talents.
The beauty and difference of this race was that it was truly a family affair. There were serious runners but there were also kids on bikes and scooters, parents pushing running strollers and those just going for a Sunday morning stroll before church. A very fun family atmosphere.
The kids and staff from the Juniper Tree all participated as well as some of the moms from the Moms Helping Moms program at the Oasis. They all did incredible (at least the kids anyways!)
Belen (name changed) was the 2nd place winner for her age group and just happens to be from the Juniper Tree! Next to her on the right is Marco to whom we are all very grateful for doing this fundraiser.
Our winners! Both of these young people from the Home (the ones on the outside if you’re not sure which young people) got 2nd place along with a backpack full of prizes. We are very proud of them!
Before and after the race we had the opportunity to share what we do for vulnerable children with the race participants and spectators.
We even made the news…about 30 seconds worth anyways. Of course they had to interview me soon after finishing while I was still huffing and puffing!
Some of the Kids Alive Peru family during the event.
We were very humbled by the number of volunteers who helped beforehand in organizing, finding race sponsors and promoting the race and of course helping during the event itself.
All in all it was an awesome family affair and great exercise for a great cause. Unfortunately Sunday was the only day the municipality would allow because of less traffic but most were still able to make their church services afterwards anyways. The municipality was initially hesitant with the whole thing. However the municipal rep that came was so impressed with the whole thing that he wants to double the numbers for next year’s race. 1000 runners in 2016! What’s the bet I don’t touch my running shoes before then?