By Sarah Pride.
Patrick Henry College
Building on last year’s successful 5k race in support of International Justice Mission (IJM), PHC junior Gracy Howard and the other students in the College’s IJM club are seeking new and creative ways to draw the surrounding community into this year’s race at Franklin Park in Purcellville, April 28 from 9:00-11:30 a.m. They have emailed running clubs in the area, put up posters in stores, and more, intending to do everything possible both to raise money for a worthy cause and to “help raise awareness in the community.
“It’s a great way to combine getting fit and supporting a cause,” she says.
International Justice Mission is a “boots on the ground” global outreach whose mission is to bring a halt to the devastating tragedy of modern-day slavery. It also helps to protect widows and orphans who suffer under corrupt legal systems, explains Howard.
“IJM truly gets stuff done,” she notes. “Their weekly emails literally describe lives changed.”
Howard and a team including students Caleb Loomis, Alyssa Mundy, Danae McGregor, and Michael Brooks are helping to organize this year’s race, which last year gave 80% of funds raised after costs to IJM while saving the other 20% as seed money for another fundraiser, the Mission Abolition concert in the fall. This concert raised over $2500 for IJM.
Howard developed her passion to combat slavery in high school, after watching the movie Amazing Grace, about the life of William Wilberforce. She has been researching and writing about the topic ever since.
The IJM club at PHC annually attracts a large number of students who both participate in and support the outreach. The group hopes to engage even more students for the race by instituting a workout challenge over April with exercise goals and milestones.
To register for or donate to the race, click here. Students can register for a donation of $20, while other individuals will donate $25. Families can sign up together for $50.