We are approaching the end of the inaugural year for the Team G(race) running team. The participation and overall experience has far exceeded my expectations. That does not mean I’m satisfied, as I always feel there are improvements. Cynde and I welcome your suggestions for how to make Team G even better.
After completing a spring half marathon and a fall half marathon, during which we had several first time half marathoners in our group, we are currently in between training programs right now. Many in the group continues to meet every Saturday for a group training run/walk, because some are training for the New Year’s Day 5k, World Race for Hope, and others just want to maintain a weekly base of miles.
Of course, Team G(race) is more than just training and running races as a team. Through a combination of peer-to-peer fundraising and special events, we raised almost $6000 this past Spring for programs to fight childhood obesity. Many in the group volunteered at a community outreach event in August to pack food for children in Nicaragua. And in 2012 we plan to resume fundraising during our half marathon training program, the cause still to be determined.
Between now and the end of February, Team G(race) members have an opportunity to fight a crime against humanity. Human trafficking is a $32 billion dollar per year industry, the second largest criminal industry in the world. By many estimates, there are over 27 million slaves in the world today, more than any point in history. Upwards of a million people, mostly women and children, are trafficked each year. Human trafficking includes sexual slavery, forced labor, child labor, and domestic servitude. It is modern day slavery.
The World Race for Hope is a 5k race on New Year’s Day in Troy, Ohio to raise awareness of human trafficking. There are satellite races during the month of January in other cities, including Columbus Ohio, Boca Raton Florida, and New York City. Individuals anywhere in the world can register for the virtual option and join the fight. Participants are encouraged to raise money during the campaign for the Somaly Mam Foundation. These funds will be used to help trafficking survivors and also for awareness and prevention programs.
We hope you will join us in the fight, here in Troy, Ohio, at one of the satellite races, or as a virtual participant. To register, go to http://worldraceforhope.kintera.org.