April 29, 2014

One Step at a Time

This past Friday I had the amazing opportunity to be part of a new event in my school community. I was so moved and felt very proud to be surrounded by such a supportive group of people.

An elementary school in the district that I teach in has a couple of students and a teacher who have been diagnosed with cancer. The school decided to rally behind these amazing people and created a fund in their honor and worked to raise money and awareness by holding their very first 5k fundraiser. 

After getting the e-mail blast about the event I was quickly intrigued to get behind such a great cause and signed up for the race. 
Let's move along to Friday morning. I awoke to gray clouds, pouring rain, and a few too many taps of the snooze button. As I was quickly gathering my things for school I wasn't sure I wanted to participate in the 5k event anymore. I haven't been running much lately and the weather seemed like a good excuse to nix the whole thing. At the last minute I shoved my running gear into a bag--just in case. 

As the day went on I slowly talked myself out of running the race even though the sky had begun to clear. By lunchtime it was decided that even though I had no better plans, I was just going to go home because let's face it---it's Friday and getting this teacher to the end of another week is a struggle worth celebrating, nap style. I already donated my $20 to the cause. That's all they really needed anyway, right?

Wrong. At the end of the day the sky was completely blue and the sun was shining. I was feeling a little guilty about skipping out on the race.  I mean, I'm already signed up and the weather's nice--why not? I changed into my running clothes and headed to the school. 

When I arrived I was greeted by a crowd of eager runners, food trucks, students, and a stage full of performers. This had turned into a pretty grand event! The school principal kicked off the race with a few words about the school and more importantly the reason we were all gathered together. He compared the very difficult and hilly course we were about to run to the journey these students and teacher were on. He encouraged us to use the difficulty of the race to think about what it must be like for these families affected by the hard struggle of a loved one fighting cancer. 

It wasn't about the money raised or the race but about our community coming together to love and support each other--strangers and friends. I was so moved and so glad I came out to support my fellow community members.

Everyone has something they battle with in life. It's so important to not only have a community of people to support you but also to be an active member of that community as well. I am so glad to call my school district my community and I hope to be as involved as possible. It's simple really. It's whwat God calls on us to do. It's what life is all about. LOVE your neighbors. DO for Others.

The school's goal was to have 60 people signed up for the race and they had over 500 runners! Talk about a support group! The food trucks were a perfect post race treat and all donated proceeds to the fund. I tried Hunger Paynes' macaroni and cheese croquettes and freshly made kettle chips. Verdict is that they were pretty good, but I really want to try the taco croquettes!

I don't personally know the students and teacher that the race was held for but I am so glad I went out to support them and everyone else fighting the fight.


  1. The teacher used to go to Emmanuel with us. Do you remember Mr. Hetzel, who used to lead the congregational singing? Andrea is his niece.

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