Why do we run?

2014 marks the 3rd annual Race for Freedom 5K. While the race is organized each year by ICT S.O.S. what you may not know is that 100% of the proceeds of this event are given away! Yep, we work really hard all year, put on a fantastic event and then give away the money it raises! Why?

When we started this event in 2012 we wanted it to benefit our community and help an organization that was actively serving victims of human trafficking and/or youth at risk of finding themselves in a trafficking situation. As the race has grown, we've held on to that ideal and this year we're proud to support Youthville's Secure Care Program. Here's some information on what they do and how they are serving young ladies in our community from Program Director, Heather Weaver:

EmberHope, Inc. (formerly Youthville, Inc.) is a private not-for-profit 501(c)(3) faith-based agency established in 1927 to help children and families in Kansas. We have been a partner with the State of Kansas for many years to serve at-risk children. Youthville remains the name of our program division focusing on services to children. The mission of EmberHope is “Sparking Change to Improve Lives.”  Our Youthville division mission is “Giving Children Back Their Childhood”.

Our Youthville Secure Care program in Newton is the only facility for females in Kansas that provides this level of service. Our program serves youth that have been adjudicated by the courts as a Child in Need of Care (CINC) and we serve youth from all areas of the state. The girls in this program have experienced significant trauma from abuse, neglect etc, along with their running behaviors,  this places them at significant risk for being victimized by human traffickers.  The girls’ stay is limited to 180 days. Upon discharge, many of the girls are returned to a community setting unprepared to properly monitor the girls’ activities.  The girls go from a structured lock-down facility with staff and counseling support to a foster family or group home in the community unprepared to understand their trauma, the risks they face, or how to best help them readjust. Discharge planning has been a difficult piece with this population, as unfortunately there are not many resources to serve this population. Secure Care was awarded a grant from the Attorney Generals office to offer “aftercare” services, which is in place to help support the youth when they are discharged into the community. However, we are interested in opening a “step down” facility from Secure Care, to assist in the transition back to a community setting. We have previously submitted information to our referral sources about a step down program. The interest is there, however, the start up costs to open such a program have been a barrier, as well as, coming to an agreement regarding the daily rate for placement in this type of program. Our current goal has been to enhance the programming offered to our girls. While we currently have a large array of services and supports offered, we want to do more. We would like to purchase additional services that can be offered to our girls at the facility, and some of the ideas they have expressed in is yoga, art therapy, “boot camp” (structured exercise routine) etc.

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Secure Care Cottage- located in Newton, KS serving girls from all over the state.

Join us Saturday September 6th as we Race for Freedom! Online registration is open now and Early Bird pricing is available until July 4, 2014. REGISTER HERE

Family Fun Updates!

 

We're so sorry we've been missing from the blogosphere for so long! But not to worry - it's only because we're so hard at work making the Race For Freedom such an amazing event! Here are the most recent developments:

First, we'd like to recognize a significant sponsor and partner in the movement to end human trafficking in Wichita. The wonderful staff at KMUW, your local source for National Public Radio, has teamed up with Race For Freedom and ICT S.O.S. to promote the race, and even has a team of ten participating!

Second, we've added fun family activities to the day! I can't tell you everything, but I can see face painting, balloon animals, and other fun things headed their way! It's never too late to sign up for the Family Fun Run - a gentle, relaxing way to support our cause and enjoy exercise with the whole family.

Not to worry - we won't be gone as long this time. There's just too much to share!!

This is How We Help - And You Can, Too.

We have a very exciting, timely way to show exactly what the Race4Freedom will benefit, and the awesome things that can happen when people get involved.

Yesterday afternoon, a young woman in Oklahoma was rescued from her trafficker by organizations working together - people working together - first to minister to her on the street, and then to come to her aid when she called for help to leave "The Life". She and her two-year-old son have been rescued and brought to an undisclosed location right here in Kansas. They have nothing but the clothing they were wearing at the time.

This is an amazing success - each young woman, man, and child rescued from slavery is awesome. But there's still more to do. By visiting ICT S.O.S., you can see the needs of this particular family, and links to donate if you are moved to do so. Also, you can see the tremendous effort taking place right here in Wichita to end human trafficking.

And by reading, running, walking, and volunteering - you're all making a difference. Register for the Race4Freedom today!

Small Business Sponsorship!

Attention small business owners!!! We at Race For Freedom know that booth prices can sometimes keep you from sponsoring local races. But not anymore!!

For $30, your small business, organization, or nonprofit can "rent" a very special "booth" at the Race For Freedom!  You will have one Port-A-Potty (yes, we said Port-A-Potty) to decorate as you choose - we're not holding you back! Past "booths" have had a butler with hand sanitizer, fresh towels, and mints. Some have handed out samples of their tasty treats. One booth even had a red carpet leading to the entrance.

For $30, a little work, and a lot of creativity, you could have the undivided attention of one person at a time - quite the opportunity to make an impression!For more information, or to request booth space, click on this link: Port-A-Potty Sponsorshipor contact us directly! And please, share this opportunity with friends and colleagues!

Not a Runner? Not a Problem!

I'll let you in on a little secret... The first time someone spoke about the Race4Freedom 5K, I was all over it - until I realized I was actually supposed to run five whole kilometers. However, my fellow leaders quickly put my mind at ease... I wasn't going to have to "run" anywhere, and could still help the cause, and in so many ways.

If you happen to choose another sport for your exercise (like swimming, for me) but know a good cause when you see it (like, say, Race4Freedom??) there is still plenty of opportunity to support the movement to stop human trafficking in Wichita. Let me explain!

Walk - If you're not a runner but would like to join in the movement, you can absolutely walk the course - and you won't be alone! It is our hope to host a race that everyone can happily participate in, regardless of skill level. Bring your little walkers, too - this is a race to promote freedom, a cause worth teaching at a young age.

Be a "Virtual Runner" - We know that you have busy lives, and while we would love to have you  be a part of our celebration on September 8, we realize that other commitments may keep you from attending. However, we would like to propose a mutually beneficial solution to this problem - becoming a "Virtual Runner". By registering to become a "Virtual Runner", you donate to this incredibly deserving cause and receive a race shirt in the mail! You can support Race4Freedom anywhere you are - just as human trafficking isn't specific to Wichita, KS, neither is our support base or our appreciation.

Spread the Word - We have a great race and a great celebration planned. Now, we need people with whom we can celebrate! Share our cause and our celebration with anyone and everyone. We've seen dramatic increases in our Facebook and Twitter friends, but we always want more!

As always, thank you to our amazing leadership team and volunteers, our sponsors, and runners, walkers, and supporters alike! We couldn't do any of this without you!

Here's the Course!!

We're one week closer to the Race4Freedom! With that development comes exciting new tools and tips from our fabulous race crew! Above, you'll see the course that you will have the chance to run on September 8 - a fast, flat course that takes you through the Indian Hills area, along the Arkansas river for 1/2 mile, and begins and ends at Carpenter Place - the very organization we're running to support!

And here is the best part! Now that our route is finalized, you can add this course to your training program! Simply click the button of the program you currently use, and you can be running the Race4Freedom today!

Are you on DailyMile? Add to your routes at: http://www.dailymile.com/routes/1177824-running-route

Are you on RunKeeper? Add route at: http://runkeeper.com/user/LizPerry/route

Download GPX File for Route: https://race4freedom.com/route/Race4Freedom2012Route.gpx.zip

 

You can also download a GPX file for the course right here!

Happy running, friends! Let us know how this adds to your training!
You can always reach us on Twitter or Facebook!

 

Great Changes!

 

Racers! We have news! As you will see on our new logo above, we have changed the date of the Race4Freedom to September 8, 2012. That's a week earlier than originally planned, but it's going to be even better than before! Here's how:

First, as we recognize and support other great causes as well, we did not want to interfere with the Alzheimer's Walk being held on September 15 in Wichita. We know that people in Wichita support great local causes and don't want to make people choose one over the other! Also, by moving our date up just one week, we were able to score some very talented emcees for the day to keep the show rolling along. And as if that weren't enough, we will now be able to use the entire campus of Carpenter Place, so everyone can truly see what all of their effort has gone to support!

We couldn't be more excited about the race, and we hope you are, too!

Make Your Voice Heard!

We know you're looking for a way to help without taking time out of your training schedule, and here's your chance! Simply click on the Cause/Effect logo above and you will be redirected to State Farm's Cause an Effect voting site via Facebook. ICT S.O.S., the reason behind the race, is up for $25,000 in funding from State Farm.

All you need to do is click on Kansas and select ICT S.O.S. You can then enter ten votes, per day, to help this amazing organization and the women it serves!

It's Training Time!

Race day is just over four months away! How are you training? I'm ramping myself up through pure excitement! Did you know that as of today, the RaceforFreedom5K facebook page has 286 "likes"? Or that we have 70 current followers on Twitter, and they just keep growing? Amazing things keep happening, and all to help get ready for this exciting event!

Back to the topic at hand, the Race4Freedom crew will be on hand at the GirlsOnTheRun race on May 12 to cheer on all of the strong women who are moving their bodies - stop by and say hi! Registration materials will be on hand... And who knows? Perhaps an early bird registration discounts? And speaking of races, ours is situated just before the Prarie Fire marathon. I'm no expert in running (sshhhh... don't tell...) but I'm thinking a 5K would be a great training exercise (or for you super-marathoners, a "light day"!).

How else are you getting ready for race day? Run on over to our Facebook page, or tell us all about it on Twitter!