Virtual 5K Provides Unique Connection Experience for Haiti-based Outreach

Second Mile Haiti founders Jenn Schenk and Amy Syres know a thing or two about endurance running. A decade into operating an outreach that includes lifesaving interventions for critically undernourished children and their mothers, the duo has had to outrun challenges that have sent others packing for home. Hurricanes, earthquakes, and shortages of just about everything are a way of life in Haiti. Staying a step ahead of those challenges with creative problem-solving is part of what keeps Second Mile Haiti thriving. So, when political instability and threats of violence kept most North American visitors away from Haiti this past summer, Jenn and Amy knew they’d have to get creative to keep the organization’s work top-of-mind with its supporters.

“We’re not receiving visitors like before, and we miss showing people from around the world what it’s like to be on a Second Mile campus,” the organization said in a recent email to supporters. “We aren’t able to walk the illuminated streets at nightfall with you, or to enjoy the tastes, sounds, and smells that make this place so special,” the email said.

During the weekend of November 3rd, runners (or really anyone!) can participate in the 5K from their own neighborhoods or local parks. The goal is to put on the Second Mile Haiti shirt and start some conversations. Everyone who signs up for the virtual run will get special delivery instructions for a podcast called “In Her Shoes.” The story follows a woman they treated who discovered she was pregnant and turned to Second Mile Haiti’s Maternity Center. For anyone who wants to know more about the 3,000 women a year served by the Center, the podcast is a great way to follow along through one woman’s remarkable story.

Amy said she hopes that the 5K will put a smile on people’s faces as they listen to stories of life change happening at Second Mile Haiti, despite the turbulent circumstances outside their walls.

Second Mile Haiti isn’t about just a quick handout. They want to change lives.

“We believe in giving people the tools to support themselves, rather than depending on handouts or temporary assistance,” their website says. “Our program requires committed participation from the caregiver in exchange for comprehensive medical treatment of her child. This gives her the opportunity to change her own destiny and that of her family.”

Registration for the virtual 5K is available online here. You can learn more about the work of Second Mile Haiti on their website.

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