Photo courtesy of Johnny Grimes.
Know More Orphans 5K
Area residents run in last year’s Know More Orphans 5K at Veterans Park. The run is organized by Altar84.
Know More Orphans 5K
Saturday, June 6
8 a.m. 5K, 9 a.m. Fun Run
On June 6, runners and joggers will have the opportunity to get some exercise while helping a “plus one” — one orphan, one foster child, one family or one church — at the Know More Orphans 5K.
The third annual run will be 8 a.m. at Veterans Park, with a 6:30 a.m. registration and a family fun run at 9 a.m., Know More Orphans (KMO) Executive Director Johnny Grimes said.
“This event is for the entire family, and we’ll have all kinds of fun things to do including moonwalks, live music, popcorn and snow cones,” Grimes said. “We’ll be giving away some great prizes at the awards ceremony.”
KMO is part of Altar84, an organization co-founded by Jodie Frye of Chelsea.
“In 2010, our hearts were forever altered as we were introduced to the plight of the orphan and the call to care for the fatherless,” Frye said. “Over the course of the next few months, we grew more and more burdened with the enormity of the need and yet how one of the greatest means of reaching this need had been God’s plan all along — the church.”
“When we refer to ‘the church,’ we are talking about the people within,” she continued. “As author [and] pastor Rick Warren says, the church has the largest participation, the widest distribution, the fastest expansion and the highest motivation.”
Frye said that over the last four years, Altar84 has brought two KMO conferences to the Birmingham area that included nationally recognized speakers and impacted more than 1,200 families and countless churches. The group has also written “Woven,” a six-week Bible study, and developed AltarCare, an orphan care ministry curriculum for church leadership. Altar84 also launched the Go Green in Haiti initiative.
“As our primary focus, we have built ongoing partnerships with over 10 area churches, helping them launch various aspects of their orphan care ministries, including awareness initiatives, family support and educational opportunities,” she said.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration of Children and Families, in 2011 there were approximately 400,000 children in the foster care system across the U.S. More than 5,000 of these children were in Alabama.
“And in our world today, there are 143 million children who have lost one or both parents,” Frye said. “This is almost one half the population of the United States and every year the number grows, with 12 million more children becoming orphaned.”
But, Frye said, everyone has an opportunity to help.
“Whether you are called to adopt, foster, become a respite parent, serve a family here or serve orphans in Haiti, give of your time, talents, or treasures, we encourage you to join us at the KMO 5K,” she said.
For more information about Altar84 and Know More Orphans, visit at knowmoreorphans.org.