This is the second year that the 10K will take place. The inaugural race in 2021 brought in approximately 100 participants and raised $10,000 for the local nonprofit that provides impoverished families in lower James City County with food, clothing, and financial assistance.
The run/walk not only raises funds, but also raises awareness about the services the organization provides. Money raised from the event provides the Grove Christian Outreach Center with much-needed resources, especially within its food programs.
“A couple of years ago we realized that we didn’t have any annual events that raised either funds or awareness about the outreach center and the work that we do in Grove to support families,” said Grove Christian Outreach Center’s Executive Director Katie Patrick in an interview with WYDaily. “So we are really excited to have a fun fundraising event, a 10K on the Capital Trail.”
The center recorded an increase in the services that are being drawn upon by families that are working, but are not making enough to make ends meet. One challenging area for families has been grocery store costs. Grove Christian Outreach Center served 572 families in August of 2022. According to Patrick, it was a 33% increase in the number of families that the organization served compared to August of 2021.
“Too often, decisions are being made on whether to pay their housing such as rent, or utilities, or to put groceries on the table,” said Patrick. “The outreach center exists to make sure families have these essential life-sustaining services every day. This race really just helps us raise that money to put food on our pantry shelves and support operational costs.”
One of the food programs provided by the center has been its Children’s Summer Lunch Program. The program has helped serve free meals to kids during the summer months who normally rely on the free and reduced lunch program during the school year.
The program has grown over the last couple of years. By the beginning of 2021, Grove Christian Outreach Center purchased a truck that was 100% percent funded by two local foundations. It was designed with a hot box and a cold box for food storage. Now, every summer, it gets its prepared meals from the Virginia Peninsula Food Bank, and then puts them in the hot or cold compartments on the truck so that volunteers may deliver free meals to kids in the grove community all summer long when school is not in session.
“Our specialty isn’t marketing events, but we put on these events to raise money specifically for these programs because we don’t receive federal funding,” said Patrick. “Our funding from our local jurisdictions is very limited. The majority of the money that we raise throughout the year is from individuals giving. We’re there to invite the community in and we get such a wonderful response, but we have to always keep our message alive. There’s always a need. There are always people that need to be cared about and we do it so well because of the community that rallies regularly.”
Registration costs to participate in the race are currently $35 per individual, and that cost will increase after Sept. 17. Registration is open up to the day of the race. Grove Christian Outreach Center is currently accepting event sponsors, as well.
For more information on the upcoming event or on the local nonprofit that it benefits, visit Grove Christian Outreach Center’s official website.