Olivia Bickel, left, and her mom, Nanette, cross the finish line at the (un)adopted R(un) for One 5K. The race will be Aug. 22 at Veterans Park. Photo courtesy of Hillary Dickey.
R(un) for One 5K
7 a.m. registration
8 a.m. race
When Dina and Alan Long knew in their hearts they wanted to expand their family of four through adoption, they turned to Lifeline Children’s Services and its branch, (un)adopted, for advice.
As a result of the organizations’ guidance, the Mountain Brook couple welcomed Joshua and Olivia, now ages nine and seven, from Pakistan to their home. They have also started their own non-profit, Developing Hope, to assist a Pakistani orphanage.
According to Dina, the whole Long family will be part of the crowd at the Aug. 22 (un)adopted R(un) for One 5K, which supports a safe environment, ministry and education for orphans around the world. In addition to Joshua and Olivia, the Long children include Isabella, Luke, Samuel, Emma Sophia and adopted five-year-old twins Alexis and Alex.
“We can’t say enough about Lifeline as a whole and (un)adopted, which serves locally through foster care plus helps teach life skills to orphans internationally,” Dina said. “And the R(un) for One is not only fun, but gives people a tangible way to be part of an important solution.”
The (un)adopted R(un) for One 5K will be Aug. 22 at Veterans Park. The run will begin at 8 a.m. with a 7 a.m. registration. A fun run will be held at 8:45 a.m., said Krystal Brummitt, Lifeline events and merchandising manager.
According to Brummitt, less than 1 percent of the 153 million orphans worldwide will be adopted. Most are not equipped to make a dignified living, so they can fall prey to sexual exploitation, drug abuse and slavery.
“The R(un) for One brings individuals and teams together to run, walk and raise money for specific projects, such as a school in Uganda, a job skills camp in Liberia, a home for boys in Dominican Republic and a foster home in China,” Brummitt said. “All the participants will help children receive an education, job skills or even life-saving surgery.”
Ashley Chesnut of Birmingham has taken part in the R(un) for One for three years and is now serving on its planning committee.
“This is important because orphan care is an important part of our church, including fostering, adoption and supporting families that assist with orphans,” Chesnut said. “The run is a way to show the love of Christ to children who have no earthly families by supporting a very worthy cause.”
For more information about (un)adopted Run for One 5K and (un)adopted, visit unadopted.org.