The story below appeared in the GraceConnect eNews, No. 49, Week of May 26, 2014. Click here for the results of the 2014 Grace Race.
It’s so much more than a 5k.
And the whole community thinks so.
This Memorial Day, the 4th Annual Grace Race 5k is taking place at Copley High School in northern Ohio. Organized by the Bath Campus of Grace Church of Greater Akron (Jeff Bogue, senior pastor), the proceeds of the race go to benefit Feed My Starving Children.
“We’re always looking for ways to help people from the community get connected to the church,” said Joe Caruso, pastor of mobilization at Grace Church. “The Grace Race started as a way for us to perpetuate two things: a way to get the community involved and to push forward our involvement with the Feed My Starving Children initiative.”
“Each year we have around a hundred volunteers who help pull off the event,” said Caruso. “And we partner with an organization called Rahab Ministries in Akron that ministers to women who were previously prostitutes or incarcerated. It is a way for us to instill value and worth into these women. They love participating. There’s actual joy on their faces. It’s really neat to see.”
In addition to raising money for Feed My Starving Children, the church hosts an event during which volunteers pack thousands of inexpensive, yet scientifically-backed, nourishing meals that could save children’s lives. The packets are designed to provide complete nutrition for people without a reliable food source.
“We love that the Feed My Starving Children events are another way to allow people to come and be a part of what we’re doing,” notes Caruso. “Anyone can help—even kids as young as seven can actually be a solid volunteer.”
The church also sponsors mission trips with CPR-3 to Haiti, where volunteers have had the opportunity to distribute the Feed My Starving Children meals. It allows them to see the process—fundraising through Grace Race, packing the meals, and seeing them distributed—come full circle.