By STEFAN MODRICH
Last week, I wrote about how your neighbors have been helping out people across the state and further up the Gulf Coast in Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.
I want to share with you now how you can make a difference right here in Fort Bend County. It’s as simple as lacing up a pair of running shoes.
How? It’s a reasonable question, and one I’d be inclined to ask if it weren’t for my own experience in these areas. The Fort Bend Habitat for Humanity announced it is going to hold its first “Raise the Roof” virtual run from Oct. 5-30.
The event coincides with World Habitat Day, the first Monday in October.
All proceeds generated by the run will support the group’s mission of building new homes for low-income families.
And I’m encouraging you to get involved in any way you can because I’ve seen firsthand how these opportunities to serve your community have shaped me and others.
In 2016, I participated in Pat’s Run, a 4.2-mile race founded by the Pat Tillman Foundation to honor the memory of the late Arizona State and Arizona Cardinals football star and a U.S. Army veteran who was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan in 2004. I ran in the 2018 Chicago Marathon with Team One Step, a charity that works with children’s oncology services and helps kids with cancer live active and fulfilling lives. I was a small, humble part of that team, running my first-ever marathon and fundraising a small sliver of the $181,000 the group gathered in total.
There are many talented people in our respective communities equipped with the skills to benefit the vulnerable and less fortunate, and I see the potential for this event to be another rallying point for Fort Bend residents.
Three virtues that Habitat for Humanity espouses are strength, stability and self-reliance, all of which are essential for building strong communities.
Fort Bend Habitat for Humanity has constructed 88 homes since its founding in 1992 and plans for at least 15 more are in the works, two of which are slated for sometime this fall on a 6.5-acre tract of land the organization recently purchased.
If you’re interested in a sponsorship, participating or volunteering, reach out to Jess Holland, Fort Bend Habitat for Humanity’s development director.
“We look forward to partnering with you to strengthen our communities in Fort Bend County by building homes and hope, and creating opportunities for families to be self-sufficient,” Holland wrote in an email. “However, we can’t do it alone, and need the support of community organizations and businesses such as yourselves.”
Running for your own benefit is a challenge that I find stimulating and motivating enough on its own.
And I liken volunteering your time or resources for a cause to be similar to starting to run.
On the first day, you might find that just the act of tying your sneakers and walking around the block is enough. A week later, you might be comfortable running a mile, and in a few more weeks, you’ll find yourself ready for your first 5K.
You don’t need to muster an overwhelming display of support to make a big impact. Start by donating what you can, whether it be time, or your ability to communicate about service opportunities by word of mouth. Running can be a solitary sport, but in this, even socially distanced and virtually, we can all be stride-for-stride as we try to make Fort Bend County a great place to live for everyone.