Community unites to support children in Uganda at Hike2Heal 5K

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Runners will gather at Edwin Warner Park for the Hike2Heal 5K on April 23 to provide medical care and treatment opportunities for children at Raise the Roof Academy in Bwasandeku, Uganda. The event is being supported by thirteen area United Methodist churches, and is funded in part by an event grant from United Methodist Communications’ Rethink Church initiative.

2015 Hike2Heal 5K in Nashville, Tennessee

2015 Hike2Heal 5K in Nashville, Tennessee

Our goal is to raise $30,000 to provide immunizations, antimalarial treatment, preventative treatment, and to support the full-time school nurse that cares for the 600 students and staff of the school.

Runners will gather at Edwin Warner Park for the Hike2Heal 5K on April 23 to race and build community – but they will also build hope for children at Raise the Roof Academy in Bwasandeku, Uganda.

Marlene Ssebulime, Executive Director of Raise the Roof Academy, said, “Our goal is to raise $30,000 to provide immunizations, antimalarial treatment, preventative treatment, and to support the full-time school nurse that cares for the 600 students and staff of the school.”

Thirteen area United Methodist congregations are supporting the event, including St. John’s United Methodist Church, Christ United Methodist Church, Blakemore United Methodist Church and Calvary United Methodist Church.

Last spring, Hike2Heal raised $20,000 for Raise the Roof Academy, which funded the first full-time school nurse as well as critical medical treatments, tests and supplies. When she started her work, the nurse was treating fifty to sixty children per day, now she is seeing an average of only ten to twenty sick children daily. Without this opportunity for care, students would have to walk three hours to the nearest medical clinic.

The Hike2Heal 5K will begin at 9:00 a.m., with day-of registration and check-in beginning at 8:00 a.m. Runners can register online for the event, which is free for children under five, $10 for children aged six through sixteen, and $35 for participants over the age of seventeen. All paid registrants will receive a t-shirt.

The event is family-friendly, welcoming strollers and leashed dogs in the race. After they cross the finish line, participants will enjoy prize announcements, a kids’ zone, a dog show, music and food.

Pre-race packet pickup will be on Friday, April 22 from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. at Blakemore United Methodist Church, located at 3601 West End Avenue.

Hike2Heal is funded in part by an event grant from United Methodist Communications’ Rethink Church initiative as a way to help local United Methodist churches in their efforts to join with their community to make a difference in the world.

Twelve-year-old runner Drew Simpson said, "I Hike2Heal because while I can open a drawer and get a Band-Aid, headache medicine like Advil, or even a cough drop - my friends at Raise the Roof Academy cannot. Let's Hike2Heal and give them the help they need.”

About United Methodist Communications
As the communications agency for The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Communications seeks to increase awareness and visibility of the denomination in communities and nations around the globe. The Rethink Church initiative highlights the many opportunities available within United Methodist churches to engage with the world – from literacy programs to feeding the poor. At RethinkChurch.org, visitors may interact, learn more about the church and search for involvement opportunities.

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Laura Buchanan
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