The St. Christopher Children's Home launched its inaugural Fun Run in 2010. That first year, there were about 200 eager participants, half of them from the St. Kitts Hash House Harriers. It wasn't an overly competitive affair, other than the few who couldn't restrain themselves (including my husband). Mostly, it was just a fun way to raise some funds for a good cause and to get some exercise. The Home was able to raise EC$100,000 that year.
Six years later, it's still a fun event, but it has really blossomed and brings out some serious competitors. This past Saturday, there were over 1,100 participants! More importantly, the organizers were able to raise over EC$230,000.
There was face painting, a DJ, and of course, Mr. X from Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack led the warm up in his trademark, green short shorts. If you missed it, you missed the island's largest aerobics session ever! Then some ran, some walked, and the next thing we knew, it was time for food, drink, raffles, prizes, and even some dancing. St. Kitts Hash House Harriers shot a video of the event, if you feel you need to relive it or want to virtually participate. SceneKitts posted 600 photos (!) here if you want to see if you or anyone you know is in them.
What does that money pay for? Last year the funds raised helped them meet their day-to-day operating expenses, as well as providing the children with extra curricular activities (like birthday parties, movies, horse riding, sailing, cricket). school supplies, general maintenance and upgrades to the property and new laundry facilities which were desperately needed.
In 2016, in addition to the normal annual expenses, the goal was to raise enough money to upgrade the out-of-date and termite-damaged kitchen facilities, which are not equipped to provide nutritious meals for up to thirty children. Proceeds will probably help them replace some items stolen from their container earlier in the year, as well.
The Home, which opened in 1950 thanks to efforts of an organization established in 1935, provides a loving home environment for up to 30 children ages 4-18 who have been removed from their natural homes by the Court due to overwhelming abuse and/or neglect at the hands of their family members. The Home accepts a child at a moment’s notice, as soon as notified by the Court, and serves as a surrogate family until s/he either is capable of living independently or can be safely reunited with his/her natural family. Despite serving as the only respite home for these devastated children, St. Christopher Children’s Home depends solely on private donations to provide all of these children’s needs.
Couldn't run/walk but want to help? You can always donate online here, buy them things from their wish list, drop off some good quality clothing and shoes, or even use SmileAmazon. It's for the Children, Inc. is a U.S. 501c3 organization, so any donations are tax deductible. The Home is always looking for volunteers to help tutor in math, English, and all the sciences. The home itself and grounds could always use an extra hand as well, so if you've got carpentry or gardening skills, feel free to volunteer your services. Call (869) 465-4007 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org