Sunday, November 4th was, “Orphan Sunday“, a Sunday in which churches and Christians “celebrate adoption, foster care and global initiatives that reveal God’s heart.*” There is an estimated 153 million orphans worldwide*…a number that should blow us away and cause us to turn internally asking God, “What would you require of us?”
“Defend the cause of the fatherless” Isaiah 1:17
(Click here if you can’t view the video)
Tom has been friends with my husband for over 15 years. Imagine our surprise when we moved to our house 9 years ago and found out that he was our backyard neighbor! He is also a husband, daddy, business owner, runner..and most importantly, a Believer in Christ. God placed something on his heart in April that merged orphans and his love of running and he shares below a little bit about it.
Why did you start Run4Kids?
Earlier this year in April, I woke up one morning and felt God lay on my heart James 1:27 which talks about looking after orphans in their distress. As I meditated on it and prayed about it, I just felt as though God was calling me to do something for orphans. At the same time there was a local marathon less than two months away that was happening for the first time. I had previously discovered running a couple of years prior and it had changed my life in many ways. I thought that raising money for orphans by running in the race seemed like a step in the direction God wanted me to go. Within less than a week, there were a series of events that led to the whole of idea of Run4Kids and God just opened one door after another to make it happen.
Ultimately, my convictions lie in that God has called us to look after orphans many times throughout the entire Bible and I think that there are so many people who already run for no reason other than to stay fit so why not build an organization and a group of individuals that can help defend the cause of the fatherless while doing what they enjoy. I believe that if we all just do a tiny bit that together we will be able to accomplish great things for orphans all over the world.
What are your main goals/purposes for Run4Kids?
The main goal for Run4Kids is to focus on raising money for organizations that are already working with orphans and doing good work. I want to be able to come alongside those organizations and help them raise funds for specific needs that they have. The more funds we are able to raise for these organizations, the more time they have to spend working with the orphans.
I also want to provide an opportunity for regular people who may not be called to go out and work directly with orphans to be able to make an impact by doing something they enjoy or by giving some people a reason to start running and get healthier.
I believe that when we stop focusing on ourselves and start focusing outward on helping others, that is when the real transformation begins. I want to give people an opportunity to not only transform their bodies, but to transform their lives by making a difference in the lives of orphans.
Tom running with his daughter and some kids at a local race!
How can we help or get involved?
The organization is just getting started but I’m looking for help in 3 ways:
1.) People who may already be runners and have never really run for a cause to become a Run4Kids runner and to raise money for orphans each time they race.
2.) People who want to be a part of helping to grow Run4Kids by reaching out to people who may potentially become a Run4Kids runner. In addition, I want them to come with their ideas on how we can reach more people and to really allow them to take ownership in helping to continue to define exactly what Run4Kids will be.
3.) I am also looking for organizations that are working with orphans who would like to become a part of the Run4Kids groups that will benefit from the efforts of all the runners involved.
My vision is to provide one place that ties all types of orphan organizations together and can raise substantially more money for all of them then they could ever raise by just staying on their own.
(Clare’s Note: You can also make a donation and/or purchase a runner’s shirt that these fine looking models are wearing! wink, wink!)
Isn’t this cool? I love how running doesn’t have to be “in vain”! There can be much purpose in your passion to stay healthy! If you have more interest in investing in the lives of Orphans through Run4Kids, then please contact Tom here or leave a comment below with your email address!
*Noted from Christian Alliance for Orphans