This May marks three years since Run For Courage Inc. began in El Dorado Hills. The mission: Raise funds and awareness to combat human trafficking.
In the past three years Run For Courage has raised more than $300,000, which has benefitted multiple programs focused on restoring victims of trafficking. RFC has also been instrumental in raising the level of awareness of human trafficking through 5k and 10K races, as well as high school and college education programs.
The Run For Courage mission continues to be the rudder that directs the organization. With this in mind, RFC has expanded into the Bay Area. Its first Oakland race will take place Nov. 2, 2013, around beautiful Lake Merritt.
“We are thrilled about this expansion,” said Ashlie Bryant, Executive Director of RFC. “Our mission is to raise awareness of this crime in every city around the country. Our vehicle to do that is our 5K 10K races. Each new race means greater awareness and more funding for victim restoration.”
Registration is now open for both Run For Courage Inc.’s 5K/10K races in Folsom and Oakland. Folsom’s race will be held Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Folsom Parkway Trails.. Participants of all ages are welcome to lace up in support of an issue with global, national and regional implications.
“Over the past three years we have been able to donate to over seven different programs that are doing great work with the restoration of victims,” said Vicki Zito, director of Beneficiary Programs.
Every day, children across the globe, including and with increasing regularity in the United States, are victimized. Sexually exploited girls — some as young as 11 — crossing all geographic and socio-economic boundaries are sold for sex against their will.
Part of the Run For Courage solution is education/prevention. Since its inception, RFC has educated more than 1,000 students.
“Teaching students allows us to prevent, as much as possible, the crime and victimization of young people. We spend time explaining human trafficking, red flags and what to do if you see signs of something that you believe to be human trafficking,” Bryant said. “We have also begun a program called Grace Paks, which is designed for students and adults alike to help give back to support victims. We assemble backpacks filled with the basic necessities, (i.e. pajamas, toothbrush, hairbrush, deodorant, etc.) and give the Grace Paks to the local first responders. Right now, we give to Sacramento agencies that have direct contact with victims, such as The Grace Network.”
RFC seeks to register 4,000 race participants between both the Folsom and Oakland races and raise $200,000. Last year RFC donated more than $92,000 to six beneficiaries. In addition to directly participating in the race, RFC is offering sponsorships to area businesses in both locations. This is a vital way businesses can support the RFC mission. Contact [email protected] if you are interested in sponsorship of either race.
For more information and/or to register, visit runforcourage.org.