Don't give money; give hope.
This Saturday, Redeeming Hope Ministries will hold its third annual Running for Hope 5K, which benefits Knoxville's homeless community through programs like Food in the Fort and The Amplifier. The race will being at 9 a.m. in Circle Park. In the past, the event has lured more than 150 runners.
Proceeds from the race will be used by RHM to provide hot meals, supply a food pantry and pay case worker salaries.By addressing the fundamental needs of the socially displaced and economically impoverished, RHM has served Knoxville since 2009.
"The needs are so vast and so varied, that I believe the less fortunate need all the help we can give them," Elizabeth Hagler, chief director of Running for Hope 5K, said. "There's not a lot of incentive for Knoxvillians to invest in the needy and homeless, so it's easy to brush them aside into the back alleys of North Broadway."
The organization has established a home in Fort Sanders, just minutes from campus.
Rachel Coleman, graduate student in recreation and sport management, said she has never volunteered for RHM, but is excited to become part of the cause.
"I have always wanted to volunteer for an organization that has such a hyper-local impact unlike American Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity," Coleman said.
UT student volunteers have been supporting RHM for several years.The Haslam Scholars program has been a staunch fighter against poverty and homelessness in Knoxville.
Lindsay Lee, senior in mathematics and a Haslam Scholar, has served as a former Running for Hope 5K organizer.
"Doing service is a great way for students to engage with their communities and really understand Knoxville as a living, breathing, diverse city," Lee said. "For Haslam Scholars in particular, doing service is the best way that we can pay back our university and our community for all the benefits we have received over the years."
Volunteers can aid RHM in a number of capacities, including advisory roles, connectivity, materially, financially and hands-on work.
"There's always a place to help, whether it's serving and cooking food during 'Food in the Fort,' or helping plan the next fundraiser, or organizing a percentage night, or general administrative duties," Hagler said. "There's a lot to do and fun to be had by all."