Part of my inspiration for Go the Distance was from a friend of mine named Jason Harper who back in 2008, ran 100 miles to raise money for Oak Ridge Elementary in Sacramento. Oak Ridge Elementary is among the most impoverished schools in the Sacramento Valley and back in 08 only about 12% of the students had health care. Through Jason’s efforts now over 85% of the kids have some sort of health care.
Jason and his team of volunteers did not stop there. They continue to promote health and fitness as well as nutrition and have programs in place to see this happen.
From their website:
Be Change After-school Fitness and Nutrition
Many inner-city children are sedentary and do not have access to healthy food options. With 100% of Oak Ridge Elementary children on district's free lunch program, Equal Start's Be Change After-school Programming provides a running club to help kids get moving. Be Change partners with Fleet Feet of Sacramento, The Running Zone, and the California International Marathon to give kids goals that are achievable. More than fifty kids are enrolled and are committed to getting active. Nutritionally, Equal Start's Be Change in conjunction with the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services gives every child a bag of groceries on Friday to augment and counter the effects of hunger through the weekend.
GOAL: Mobilize kids into quality after-school programming to stimulate a healthy/nutritional awareness using running as goal setting activity.
Go the Distance and Franklin school have initiated a plan to give back to those with greater needs than our own and will organize a Food Drive for the kids of Oak Ridge Elementary. On Thursday April 15th, I will visit each classroom at Franklin and challenge each class to raise 125 non-perishable food items to coincide with the 125 miles I have challenged myself to run in 24 hours. On April 22nd, at the Go the Distance event, Jason, his team and some of the kids from Oak Ridge Elementary will come to our school to accept our contribution and be a part of our event.
There is an important message here that I want to pass along to our kids at Franklin School. I began Go the Distance because I saw a need. I believe that teaching and encouraging kids about health and fitness at an early age is important to their future and I want to make sure the funding is available for it to continue. However, I also understand that there are those who have much greater needs than we do at Franklin School. In this case those kids are just 30 miles down the road. I hope for this food drive to be a great benefit for the kids of Oak Ridge Elementary but I also believe the kids of Franklin will get a lot out of it as well.
Please help me encourage the kids and Franklin families to take part in this noble effort.
Additional information will be coming home with the kids on Thursday the 15th.
For additional information or if you would like to help with this food drive contact:
Amy Osborne – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kasey Smith – email@example.com