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Put on your running (or walking) shoes and help the Salvation Army

J. H. Osborne • Mar 29, 2018 at 3:00 PM

KINGSPORT — You still have time to sign up for the Salvation of Army of Kingsport’s second annual Red Shield 5K Run (or walk), a fundraiser to benefit the agency’s year-long shelter programs.

It also helps fund an annual summer camp for children served by the Salvation Army. This year the organization anticipates having 30 children go to camp. Some of those youngsters will be on hand to cheer on Red Shield 5K participants

The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 7 at Warriors Path State Park. It begins at 10 a.m. and includes many categories for which awards will be given. That aspect proved popular last year as it allowed many participants their first 5K “wins,” Salvation Army board member Neesha Shah Hetcher said.

“We gave out awards for categories not commonly included in such runs,” Hetcher said. “We want to build on that this year. Last year, we had a great turnout and everyone had fun. We are hoping for a repeat this year.”

Another potential draw this year: live bluegrass music and food trucks.

The Red Shield 5K Run (or walk) originated due to a drop in contributions, Hetcher said.

The Salvation Army’s largest annual fundraiser is its well-recognized Red Kettle Campaign each Christmastime. Many folks associate the red kettles and bell ringers with Christmas. But the money raised then has traditionally been a mainstay for funding the Salvation Army’s many year-round assistance programs.

“We decided we needed to add some fundraisers throughout the year,” Hetcher said. “And what we’re now calling the Red Shield 5K Run or walk was one of our first efforts to do so.”

Registration for the event is $25 plus a $2.50 processing fee online and ends at 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 6. Registration is available at https://runsignup.com/Race/Events/TN/Kingsport/SalvationArmyRedKettle5kRunandWalk#event-223513.

Throughout 2017 the Salvation Army of Kingsport:

• Served 39,547 meals in its Community Kitchen.

• Provided 6,711 nights of lodging to 320 individuals in its emergency shelter.

• Answered 2,405 requests for groceries.

• Distributed 8,826 clothing and household items.

• Distributed 1,572 hygiene kits.

• Had a total attendance of 4,557 in worship meetings.

• Had a total attendance of 1,419 in its youth character-building programs.

• Made 2,628 visits to shut-ins and nursing home residents.

• Sent 27 children to summer camp.

For more information about the Red Shield Run, call the Kingsport Salvation Army at (423) 246-6671.

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