Dashing for the Cause

“Yeah, there’s no way I’ll ever do this.”

That is the exact sentence that left my mouth last year on April 30th, 2017.

Almost one year later, here I stand proven wrong because I, in fact, am doing it.

“It” is a Warrior Dash, the 5K that consists of 14 muddy obstacles including:

 
 
 
 
 
 

Let’s rewind a little bit though. Last year, Relus participated in Promise686’s TOUGH Campaign by sponsoring and participating in the Tough Mudder. I spent the day running after the Relus team providing the moral support (and water, lots of water) that they needed. I found myself in awe of my coworkers, honestly inspired by their commitment and true grit.

On our way home from this challenging day, Sarah Everett (Relus’ VP of People and Culture) and I spoke about the ups and downs of the day. This included how much Sarah hated the obstacle that was essentially a really hard set of monkey bars, the insane fact that I ran around eight miles just trying to keep up with our group (not even participating in the actual race), and how we both felt like we will ALWAYS have mud lingering on our bodies. One part of this conversation stood out to me though. Sarah said, “As challenging as this day was, this is nothing compared to what foster children go through daily.”

There are not enough families for the more than 13,000 Georgia children in foster care. For their safety, these children are unexpectedly removed from their home and their world is turned upside down. The next morning, they wake to a new reality and loss. Foster care is not only tough for the child, it takes grit for foster parents, too. Yet when you talk to foster parents, they knowingly sign up to welcome and love a child with no idea of the outcome. Promise686 helps provide foster families with Care Communities that help to serve foster families and fill in any needs gaps that they have, whether it be childcare, meals, or some other particular help that the family may need. The support of these Care Communities helps foster families care for more children for a longer time, providing these children with the support that they so desperately need.

So, this year I am excited to say that I will be running alongside 24 bold, grit-filled ReluStars participating in the Promise686 TOUGH Campaign, dedicated to bringing attention to Georgia’s foster care crisis! These ReluStars spent extra hours after work to prepare for this race in order to bring all they’ve got to the course on race day (shout-out to my partner in crime Kelsea Luce for helping me coordinate team efforts to get us prepared for the race). One of the many great things about this event is that it allows our team to put our company values into action by working hard and hustling, being fast, flexible, and resilient, and winning as a team. It’s not too late though!

This event also highlights one of my favorite core values: “Pay it foward.” If you can’t get muddy with us on race day, you can still help Relus “pay it forward” by donating to this incredible cause here. Speaking for every ReluStar running, we couldn’t have chosen a better organization to “fund-race” for.