Run For A Change
Each year, Father Joe’s Villages’ Thanksgiving Day 5K brings San Diego together to raise critical funds that provide warm and nutritious daily meals to hungry San Diegans. “That’s my favorite part about this event,” says Father Joe’s Villages events and corporate partnerships manager, Rochelle Mooney. “It brings people in the community together each year to help feed people in need.”
To combat hunger among those experiencing poverty and homelessness in San Diego, Father Joe’s Villages’ Food Services program prepares and serves meals 365 days a year to hungry people living on the streets and in shelters. Last year, Father Joe’s Villages’ Food Services program provided warm nutritious meals to 9,200 hungry neighbors in need. Additionally, these meals offer more than just a basic means of survival. Access to nutritious meals can enable neighbors to focus less on hunger and more on building a brighter future.
For example, Mark found that a meal at Father Joe’s Villages was a door to a brighter future. Mark became homeless when he was no longer able to afford his housing after being diagnosed with skin cancer. “I used the lunch line just so I could have something to eat during the day. Sometimes it was my only meal that day,” Mark said.
What Mark didn’t know is that the lunch program often serves as a gateway to additional services. Through the lunch program, Mark learned about Father Joe’s Villages housing programs. He soon moved into the Paul Mirabile Center, an emergency shelter for adults. No longer needing to worry about food and shelter meant that Mark had time and energy to pursue his goals. Father Joe’s Villages’ comprehensive services, including medical care, behavioral health care, employment services and more, helped Mark secure income and affordable housing, ending his homelessness for good.
The Thanksgiving Day 5K offers the opportunity to support programs that change the lives of people like Mark and enjoy a Thanksgiving morning filled with fun.
After a year of holding the event virtually, Mooney is more excited than ever to bring the community together for a fun and meaningful event. “There is a certain enthusiastic energy that day where everyone is just so happy to be there,” she shared with GB Magazine. “I think it is important for us all to get out Thanksgiving morning and come together physically for this event, and just have a really good time.”
The event features an optional pre-race Catholic Mass and a post-race festival, including a beer garden, live music, pictures with Santa, and famous homemade pies. There is no better way to spend Thanksgiving morning than giving back with your family and furry friends!
“What I love about our 5K is that it is very accessible,” said Mooney. “All ages can walk or run the route through Balboa Park. Each year, we have families who come with their kids, their out-of-town family members, even their dogs. People from all over the region come out Thanksgiving morning to raise awareness for a good cause.”
During this season of giving and plenty, give back and make an impact on those most in need in our community. Get 15% off when you sign up using promo code GBMAG21. Visit www.thanksgivingrun.org to sign up today.