Run the 901 Race Series hosts Laurelwood 15K, its third of four races this year, this Sunday to benefit local organizations Church Health, Wolf River Conservancy, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mid-South (BBBSMS).
BBBSMS has served more than 16,000 young boys and girls, or "littles," in the Memphis community since 1968, matching them up with "bigs," or mentors, to serve as positive role models by spending quality time with them at least twice a month.
BBBSMS has nearly reached its $1,000 goal for race day, but Susan George, the program's executive director, says she hopes they surpass the goal so they can better serve children who have not yet been matched with mentors.
- Youngest volunteer, Ian
"This funding allows us to recruit additional mentors for the kids who we have waiting," she says. "We currently have 130 kids on our waitlist, and 92 percent of those kids are boys."
George says it's important for these children to have mentors to look up to, as most of them are struggling with parents' incarceration, divorce, or death.
"A lot of the kids have challenges that they don't know how to work through, and mentors, with the support of our program, are able to help them work through those things," she says. "That way they can realize their potential and move on to bigger and better things for themselves."
Anyone who is interested in becoming involved in the race or as a mentor, intern, or volunteer for the program may reach out by visiting msmentor.org or calling 323-5440.
Laurelwood 15K, Laurelwood Shopping Center, 422 S. Grove Park, Sunday, February 16th, 7 a.m., $20-$55.