Every year, the Windward community comes together to run for a worthy cause - Family Promise, an organization that assists homeless families.
This year’s Fun Run, which will take place on Oct. 26, will be the seventh year for the event.
“It’s a fun way to spend your Saturday morning,” says Laura Thielen, a former Family Promise board member and current executive director of Partners in Care, which oversees all homeless assistance programs on Oahu.
By taking part, community members can do “something that will affect a lot of families’ lives, and at the same time, you can have fun and get together with our community,” she added. “This is such a unique activity - and it’s a really good breakfast!”
Moku and Monkeypod Kitchen restaurants will provide breakfast so participants can replace some of the calories they burn during the run. With the event falling so close to Halloween, participants are encouraged to wear costumes.
The Fun Run was conceived by Thielen and a group of friends who were seeking ways to increase community awareness for Family Promise. Originally, the goal was to inform the community about Family Promise and its mission. But in short order, it became a significant fundraiser.
Last year’s run raised about $29,000. This year’s event has already surpassed that amount with sponsorships alone.
Family Promise, which has offices in Honolulu and Wahiawa, provides safe temporary housing for family with children to assist them in in reaching their goals to become self sufficient. It is a national organization and the Oahu affiliate is 11 years old.
Because the organization is powered primarily by volunteers, it has a very low overhead so most of the money raised by the Fun Run goes directly to services for clients.
Family Promise usually serves 4-5 families on the island at a time. In total, it assists about 100 people a year, most of them children. The organization also has a drop-in center and diversion programs.
Most of the adults served by Family Promise lose housing because they are working 2-3 jobs at a time, but are still unable to provide childcare. The result is that they have to quit one or two of the jobs, and the loss of that income renders them homeless.
Family Promise also provides job training, such as resume writing and financial planing, allowing clients to seek more lucrative jobs in the future.
For more information about Family Promise or to register for this year’s Fun Run: https://familypromisehawaii.org/funrun/
Photo 1: Participants in the 2018 Family Promise Fun Run approach the finish line.
Photo 2: 2018 Family Promise Fun Run participants pose in flamingo costumes.