Mercedes Marathon 2019

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” – Hebrews 12:1

“Why do people run? Typically running is related to fear, pursuit, survival, or some greater desire. It seems as though, despite the fact the world is moving at an ever increasing speed, we seldom take the time to run for ourselves anymore. We seem to run for purpose, and not for passion. Between work/school and families, we spend so much time buzzing around, it is difficult to muster the gumption to go out, take some solo time, and jog. When speaking with avid fitness fanatics, they always talk about that runners’ high; the moment where the pain stops and their endurance seems eternally self-perpetuating. This experience is reminiscent of the relationship we can have with God, if we simply take the time to listen to Him. If we empty our minds to him, in our bout of pure, serine solitude, He will come and take on our burdens.

In early February, GKC partnered with the Mercedes Marathon, and we were able to use these runners’ zeal and endurance to further fuel our mission of providing for those in need of a blessing. While the racers went within themselves to find their strength, GKC collected the donated clothes the runners left behind, to share with the community. As the runners prepared on this chilly, winter morning, they came bundled up in their layers of clothes; however, as the racers heated up during their trek, they started shedding their outer layers mile by mile. Within the first mile of the marathon, GKC had collected several 50-gallon trash bags worth of donated jackets, gloves, shirts, and miscellaneous accessories. At one point, around the second mile, somebody even ditched their britches! That runner must have been pretty desperate to improve her time…

In addition to some GKC staff, the team of delightful volunteers included Brooke, Britt, Heather, Dellaine, Kelly, Cassidy, and Ashleigh. All of these ladies were a huge help in making the serve day a light and social one. After walking the first 5K of the race, Jason and Natalie stayed in the front of the cart, while the rest of the team attempted to warm their bodies in the dozens of garbage bags–never had we ever been so selfishly grateful for other people’s clothes! We recognized the blessings within these bags; we utilized them; and we paid them forward back into the community. Let’s all take a second to say it loud and say it proud: God is good!” – Cassidy Clevenger, Samford Social Work Intern

We are thankful to Holly, Cassidy and Tara for washing the clothing after the race and returning the items in a perfect, sorted and folded condition back to the GKC office. Now to get our share on!

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