Friends of the Poor 5k is Sept. 27
By CAROLINE CARMICHAEL/Staff Writer
HOOVER — On Sept. 27, Birmingham’s Friends of the Poor will take to the track at Hoover’s Veterans Park for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s annual Friends of the Poor 5k Walk/Run.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which is one of the largest Catholic organizations in the world, has held the event at numerous locations across America since 2008.
Last year, the organization raised money from more 200 walk sites.
“We are just ordinary people who offer our time, talent and treasure to help individuals and families in need. But our main goal is to grow spiritually,” said coordinator Judy Atchison.
Proceeds from the race are used to supply the needs of locals in need.
“We just try to help as many people as we can,” said Atchison. “It is very gratifying.”
After identifying and considering people’s needs, the Friends of the Poor provides the necessities for helping get them “back on their feet.” Such provisions typically include utilities payments and rent.
In a more rare case, a vehicle may be provided.
Families and single-parent homes usually take priority over working individuals’ needs.
“You want to help everybody,” said Atchison, “the need is so great out there.”
This year’s event is the result of teamwork from the society’s newly formed Birmingham council. The four primary cities represented will be Hoover, Trussville, Tuscaloosa and Adamsville.
The race, which will be timed by The Trak Shak, is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. after a ceremony and announcements. The walk will begin at 9 a.m.
In conclusion of the event, awards and door prizes will be presented, and refreshments will be offered.
Sponsors for the event will include Freedom Financial Group, Brooklere Health Mart Pharmacy, Walmart, Townshend Honda and Townshend Ford.
Registration for the Friends of the Poor 5k Walk/Run will be free and available both online and the day-of, but donations are encouraged. For donations of $20, participants will be given a free T-shirt while supplies last.
Participants who prefer to mail their donations may send their checks to 8090 Gadsden Hwy, Trussville, AL 35173, payable to St. Vincent de Paul-FOPW.
Walkers and runners may register 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. the day-of or online at svdpusa.net/walk/1052.
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