Edmond Memorial students have picked up a strong cause.
The Advocating Change Together (ACT) group has spent the spring semester raising money in multiple ways for Maisha International Orphanage, a nonprofit organization that helps the Nyanza Province of Kenya by providing food, scholarships and much more.
Now, the biggest event the students have planned is the Run For Life 5K and family run Saturday at Mitch Park in Edmond.
The goal is to raise a total of $10,000 and provide 100 bicycles to high-school students in Kenya for transportation to and from school, which can be as close as a 45-minute walk or 2-hour walk leaving students in harms way.
“It's not just food or water, or something every day; it's something much more tangible that as high schoolers we can obviously relate to them because they are high schoolers,” Edmond Memorial senior Christina Hagemeier said.
Maisha International Orphanage's founder Beatrice Williamson started the organization in 2007 in hopes of paying forward the help she once received.
Swedish missionary Anna Lanson aided Williamson, a native of Kisumu, Kenya, with a scholarship for education. She came to the United States in 2001 and has since been providing for her native country in a variety of ways.
When the organization began, it was feeding less than 30 kids one meal day. Now, it feeds 450 children daily. And often times, that is the only meal the child will receive.
ACT has raised more than $1,000 for the cause behind food nights at local restaurants, bake sales and now the 5K race.
Pre-registration is closed for the event, but there will be registration the day of the event beginning at 7:30 a.m. The fee is $35, but children 12 and under are $15.
People can also sponsor a bike instead of participating, Williamson said.
But on Saturday, Edmond Memorial students will put themselves in the shoes of whom they want to help.
“People are going to experience it for like an hour or two, but these kids (in Kenya) experience it every day,” Williamson said,
“I think that's the neat part of what these young, high-school kids are doing.”
RUN FOR LIFE
*What: 5K and 1-mile family run
*When: 8:30 a.m. Saturday
*Where: Mitch Park, 1501 W. Covell Road, Edmond
*Entry fee: $35 at race. Children 12 and under are $15.
*More info: www.maishainternational.org