Nonprofit Blanket Fort Hope held fourth annual race

Published 2:57 pm Monday, September 19, 2022

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By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – A race with a good cause made its way to Pelham. Oak Mountain State Park hosted Blanket Fort Hope’s Hold the Fort 5K Saturday, Sept. 17.

The annual event, which also contained a 1-mile fun run and 10K, had a turnout of 175 runners. The first annual Blanket Fort Hope run had 20 people present. The next held in 2020 quadrupled its runners with 80 racers present. Last year for the third annual race, 150 signed up and 121 ran due to the rain downpour.

Blanket Fort Hope is a nonprofit organization that fights against child human trafficking. This is the nonprofit’s fourth annual run at the park, and all proceeds from the race go into restoring the lives of child human trafficking survivors.

“We think it went fantastic,” CEO and founder Alexa James said. “We are so excited. We went national this year. We had runners from Texas, Mississippi, Virginia, South Carolina and Minnesota.”

Many children were present to do the 1-mile and a few from the 12 and under group ran the 5k mile.

“The one mile is something we do for people who want to participate,” Likis said. “It is a time where we give out prayer cards so people can pray during their one-mile walk. It gives people an opportunity to be a part of the event and pray for us. It is also for the little ones to get involved.”

Runners completed the race to the cheers of those watching them when they crossed the finish line.

“We finished in 28 minutes,” said Joni Alexander, who ran alongside her sister, Jennifer Alexander. “We feel good.”

The name Blanket Fort Hope has a special meaning behind it and serves as an image of what the nonprofit hopes to restore to children.

“The organization is called Blanket Fort Hope because we know not every child has the freedom to build a blanket fort,” volunteer coordinator Savannah Barnett said. “They have lost that. That’s been taken from them.”

A new social media campaign was launched Saturday, Sept. 17 through the Blanket Fort Hope official Facebook page in order to bring awareness to the nonprofit.

“I love the mission,” Barnett said. “I think it has gone pretty smoothly.”

Blanket Fort Hope is currently accepting applications for its Junior Board. The junior board is a group of individuals who work to spread the message and mission of Blanket Fort Hope via social media.

“For the junior board, we are working on building our own fundraiser,” Barnett said. “We work behind the scenes to help bring awareness and involvement to the organization.”

More information about the Blanket Fort Hope Mission can be found at