Local volunteer organization to host 5K for Haitian relief

2 years 6 months 1 week ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 4:12:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
By: Maia McDonald, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Gloomy weather and a possible chance of rain isn't going to stop one Columbia organization from throwing on their running shoes to make a difference. Happiness Now, a local non-profit organization is hosting a 5K race Saturday morning at Stephens Lake Park as part of their first fundraising event. 

"It's to raise money for the building of a medical clinic in Los Cocos which is a village of Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic," said Anna Sechrist, a volunteer for Happiness Now.

There are about 750 families living in Los Cocos that the new medical facility would benefit. 

"They came over after the earthquake in Haiti and basically they came with nothing," Sechrist sad. "They live in houses made of cardboard, sheet metal and they had very little access to food and water.

Happiness Now has since built two cisterns that provide clean drinking water to the village. It's also created enrichment programs for the families to help build the community. The race was one way they thought could address one of the village's greatest needs. 

"This summer we went to the Dominican [Republic] and we did a lot of medical outreach, spiritual outreach with the kids and the families and we really wanted to build a clinic this next summer because they don't have access to medical care in that village, "Sechrist said."

Planning for the race began back in August. It involved a lot of work for the organization who is new to raising money.

"We got sponsors. We contacted people. We figured out the logistics, the details and set it up," Sechrist said. 

According to Sechrist, the reception for the race has been generally positive.

"A lot of people are really interested in helping support our clinic. The timing is a built difficult just because we have Thanksgiving Break coming up for a lot of people. But there's definitely a lot of people interested in our race for the clinic" Sechrist said.

For Kristin Hemkens, who's also a volunteer for Happiness Now, organizing the race has had a personal meaning.

"I think it's been really good trying to convince people about what we're doing or just talk to them about it. Even just for me to know, 'hey, why are we doing this' and so talking to people whether that's people in the community. people I already know people in my family, it's been really good assuring myself about how important this is to me."

Hemkens hopes through this race people realize how important outreach is. 

"It is such a great need I think people don't see. I think there's a lot people in the United States who are privileged," Hemkens said."We have so many great things here and we don't think about the things we take for granted. So, like, basic healthcare, food and water everyday, clean water, vaccines, all of the things we take for granted."

Sechrist has similar feelings about being involved. She hopes each person can realize the impact they can make.

"Even just a donation of five dollars is very helpful because if twenty people do that, it's just a bigger impact. Even if it's small for one person, overall it makes a big impact," Sechrist said.

The race is from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Stephens Lake Park. Those interested can go to race's registration site or register in person before the race for $35.

The organization plans on building the medical facility next summer. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – The messy weather pattern we’ve been in is about to head east and we’ll be left with cooler... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 9:57:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in Weather
LAKE OF THE OZARKS —After videos of a crowded Lake of the Ozarks bar went viral over Memorial Day weekend,... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 9:45:58 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - With schools closed and after school programs cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the community has gotten creative... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 9:37:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY — Deputies from the Callaway County Sheriff's Office arrested an 18-year-old from Tebbetts on Monday. Just after... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 9:03:11 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Some elementary and middle schools in Jefferson City will be holding drive-through celebrations for students. ... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 8:49:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —A formal plea of not guilty in the murder of Mengqi Ji was filed on behalf of Joseph... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 8:22:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday that Missouri voters will see the constitutional amendment to expand Medicaid eligibility... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 8:03:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 8:00:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The top health official in Kansas on Tuesday urged Kansans who joined large gatherings at Missouri's... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 6:49:56 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
MISSOURI - Missouri is moving into a new phase of COVID-19 reopening that will implement a new set of guidelines... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:44:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson will deliver his daily COVID-19 briefing live from the State Capitol in Jefferson City... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 2:01:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY - The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals upheld a ruling Tuesday that the city of Columbia acted... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 12:14:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
HOWARD COUNTY - A 30-year-old Armstrong, Mo. man is dead after a two person crash on Missouri State Highway 5... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 8:38:00 AM CDT May 26, 2020 in Top Stories
(CNN) - Despite dips in recent years in gun violence and the sanctioned stay-at-home orders, Chicago saw its deadliest Memorial... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:54:36 AM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. You can find... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:29:00 AM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
CHARITON COUNTY —A tornado briefly touched down in Chariton County just after 6 p.m., according to the National Weather Service... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 9:50:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
O’FALLON — Missouri’s health director issued a dire warning Monday after photos and video showed Memorial Day weekend revelers partying... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 8:39:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Despite the COVID-19 pandemic sidelining all youth sports from play, one local coach decided to get some practice... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 5:57:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
9am 70°
10am 71°
11am 72°
12pm 72°