2021 Frostbite 5K raises $14K for organization’s ministry efforts

HOOVER – The winter chill did not keep people from lacing up their running shoes and reporting to Veterans Park for a fundraiser run on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 30.

Nearly 160 people of varying ages participated in the eighth annual Frostbite 5K and Fun Run organized by Young Life Birmingham South, an organization whose mission is to introduce adolescents to Jesus Christ and to help them grow in their faith.

“It is our second-largest annual fundraiser,” Young Life Birmingham South Staff Associate Kate Hargrove said, and added the proceeds go toward operating costs for staff and volunteer leaders to do ministry in the area.

Although the outdoor, socially distanced run was a low-risk event in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers were prepared for a lower turnout this year; however, the turnout of race participants, volunteers and spectators far exceeded their expectations.

“We were so amazed,” Hargrove said. “We had a larger turnout than we had in the last couple of years.”

The organization raised more than $14,000 from race registration and sponsorships.

“We were floored and really, really grateful,” Hargrove said. “For a 5K with not even 200 race participants, the growth was reflected in the amount we’re grateful to say that we raised.”

Participants spanned different age groups, from children to teenagers to senior citizens (the oldest participant was 81 years old).

“It’s a very family-friendly event,” Hargrove said, and noted the weather was nice on the morning of the race. “It was chilly enough to live up to its name, but nice enough for people to be out and enjoying a comfortable, slightly overcast day.”

Health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19 might have altered how Young Life conducts its meetings and events, but the organization’s efforts to enter into the world of high school students, build relationships with them and minister to them remain unchanged.

Local schools in Young Life Birmingham South’s ministry area include Oak Mountain High School, Briarwood Christian School, Spain Park High School, Chelsea High School, Hoover High School and Oak Mountain Middle School.

The organization also operates a Capernaum ministry focused on students with special needs.

“We are looking to continue to grow,” Hargrove said. “We are always thinking about going after the next kid, which means reaching the next school. We just want every kid to feel seen and welcomed and wanted and loved, because they are, and we are. That’s how Jesus feels about us.”

For more information or to get involved, visit Birminghamsouth.younglife.org, @younglifebirminghamsouth on Facebook or @ylbhamsouth on Instagram.