It’s hard to predict how the pandemic will play out or what the state of the world will be in six months, but it is with great hope for a healthier future that Steps for Students is continuing to plan its annual 5K run for February 2021.
Steps for Students is a non-profit group that raises funds and awareness for Catholic education. The 5K runs, which promote healthy living in children of all age groups, are enthusiastically attended by clergy and faithful alike, and the proceeds of their fundraising benefit the 58 Catholic schools in the Galveston-Houston area of Texas. In 2020, they raised nearly $600,000 dollars from nearly 3,900 donors, and in 2019 they raised over $900,000.
The 5K run is a great fundraiser that provides money to many educational institutions, but it has even greater value as a community building exercise. On the day of the run, priests and nuns (in the habit) are out there on the course with their flocks, leading the effort to improve health and offering encouragement to fellow runners.
Lindsay Peyton of the Houston Chronicle covered the 15th anniversary of the 5K run in 2020, in which she spoke with Rev. Richard McNeillie, vocational director for the archdiocese, who took part in the run. McNeillie said that for inspiration to keep him going when the run gets tough, he keeps in mind Corinthians 9:24: “Run so as to win.” He said:
“We’re human beings, and we definitely need to take care of our bodies as well as our souls,” he said. “I’m going to hit times when everything falls apart, and I have to keep going. There are times when I find a rhythm, and it’s easy. And there are times when I am sprinting.”
A promotional video made from footage of the 2020 run, featured above, displays the rich community-building aspects of the event, as it is attended by priests, nuns, catholic teachers, students, and their families. It shows that the event has something to offer for everyone. from taking part in the run to enjoying a street fair with stalls for games and shops, all meant to bolster the fundraising effort. If your young ones are a little too small to join in the footrace, there is a wide selection of family-friendly activities to share with them.