This post really will reflect on how our 1st Annual Sock Scamper went. But first a story.
I don't usually share a lot of stories on places where God is moving myself or my family to Do Something. But this is a story about how God was messing with me (and my family) in a Big way. (For us.) And in the spirit of learning, let's share and see what we've learned.
About one year ago, a friend of mine invited my family to come and run a local 5K to benefit CISS. Central Iowa Shelter and Services is a shelter for homeless adults with a goal to support self sufficiency. What's special about CISS to us is they have a 14 bed transitional housing unit that supports Veterans.
My family rolls downtown on a muggy July day. We begin to run the 5K along the river. My then-9 year old begins to see tents under the overpasses, and the questions begin. I do my best, but I'm sure I messed it all up. Afterward, he begins to ask, repeatedly if we can do a 5K for homeless veterans as well. Honestly? I was brushing him off for almost a year, because who can really organize a 5K and all that?
But God kept messing with me, and I mentioned this idea on the side to just 2 people. That is really how things started rolling. From there, a community of people came together and this conviction from a now 10 year old's vision started becoming a reality. And on July 25th, we held our First Annual Sock Scamper.
What Was Noted that We Loved:
The Fellowship and Community. People lingered. Members of my church family sat on a trail and encouraged our Scampering folk with joyful words and water at the 1/2 way point. These people provided joy and safety for our participants. People stood and sat in the parking lot and just enjoyed each other before and after the race.
It was great that I was able to walk with my Mother-In-Law at the end of the scamper. We were able to see who was left on our trail, and met up with some of the team at the turn around point. A good safety point. We want to make sure no one is out there struggling without support available to them. My favorite part here? My Father-In-Law helped a tired mother who had been pulling kids on a tandem bicycle by taking the bicycle and riding them the rest of the way back to church.
Gifts were being used. There was a committee of people who worked to provide a lovely hospitality table for when the scamper was over. Chocolate milk, Gatorade, granola bars, fresh fruit, lots of water! Any leftovers were donated to CISS. It was delightful and plentiful. (On a side note, we used 100 pounds of ice to keep all our refreshments cool-we'll use some of that next year to keep the granola bars cool for everyone so they don't melt!) We had a committee of people who organized registration and ordered backpacks for everyone.
We collected approximately 260 pairs of socks for CISS. Why socks? Because when asked what was most needed, new socks and undergarments were at the top of the list. Just let that sink in for a moment. They asked for new socks. It's just something I buy, and sometimes huff at the price because they seem so menial. It was a whack over the head for me to be sharing and reaching out with what we have.
What about Next Year?
It was the 10 year old who came up with these visions for next year: How can we partner with Pastor Guerra and Iglesia Luterana El Pastor del Valle to promote more community? Can we make signs for the members to take and hang up around the community to promote the Scamper? Let's make flyers and pass them around the neighborhood. :)
Some other ideas that were mentioned to myself and my family: Could registration and refreshments be on the south side of the building in the shade? What if breakfast was served for people who just wanted to fellowship, but not scamper? Could we have it in June, maybe close to Flag Day?
A return sign coming off the trail would ensure people would turn left and not go straight when it was time to come back to church, and next year we will stake the signs into the ground.
Who else can we Reach Out with to support CISS and get them basic needs for our community members who need them?
If you were there, we would love to hear your thoughts below. Any of them!
If you weren't there, why not?!?!?! :) Just kidding. We would love to have you join us next year! If you are interested, let me know and I'll start a list for next year to communicate the details with you.