We had 331 runners and raised $7759 at the 1/11/14 Lansing for Haiti 5K! This is our fourth year doing the race as we’ve seen our registrations rise from 100 to 163 to 301 to 331. In total, Lansing for Haiti has raised $46,277 since the 2010 earthquake. I am humbled and honored by the amount of friends who come out to support our cause in Haiti. I am so grateful for every runner, walker, church and sponsor who made the race possible this year. Looking around the scene of the 5K is very moving for me. Thank you if you were involved in any way.
What’s hard for us to get our minds around is the difference between the poverty we typically think about and the poverty that the most vulnerable endure in Haiti. I talk about some of the venom I get from Americans on this subject in a post I did during 5K prep this year entitled “What Drives Me Nuts About Organizing the Lansing for Haiti 5K.”
When I was in Haiti in 2010, I remember talking to one of the community leaders of one of the many tent cities that littered Port-au-Prince. He was explaining us the plight of a 7 year old girl he had talked to in his tent city. She had to make the daily decision of if she’d let herself be raped so she could eat, or if she would starve. This is the vulnerable. This is why we do what we do with the Lansing for Haiti 5K, the Feb. 21-22 Justice Conference, and similar efforts.
What I love about what World Relief (the organization Lansing for Haiti’s funds go to) is doing is that they understand the why this type of poverty exists and they only put their efforts behind things that will bring long term solutions to these tragic situations.
All of the money we currently raise with Lansing for Haiti goes toward microfinance loans for agricultural businesses, primarily in the Leogane area. These small loans help farmers start legitimate agricultural businesses, allowing them to create a stable living for the long term, which prevents their children from having to prostitute themselves, allows them to be able to go to school, allows them to be able to feed themselves, etc. In addition, all of World Relief’s work is done through the existing Haitian local churches, where incredible community networks exist to target and help the most vulnerable who would normally go unnoticed. With the local church involved, not only are people’s physical needs being met with dignity, but they are being made whole through the love and grace of Jesus Christ, receiving a greater hope than any crop or cash ever could provide, and at the same time being brought into the life of a church family, giving incredible social and relational support to the hardships of life.
Thank you to everyone who participated, donated, and prayed for the Lansing for Haiti 5K. Please continue to lift up our Haitian brothers and sisters in prayer, and pray for the World Relief staff as well.
I encourage you to join us for the Justice Conference this weekend, February 21-22nd; and also to lace up your shoes yet again for a great cause, running in the Steps to Freedom 5K on March 8th at Hawk Island Park, a fundraiser to stop human trafficking.
Click here for free L4H 5K race photos (goes to our Facebook page, which you can still access without a Facebook account)