As the ban on mass gatherings continues towards the summer months, events are adapting to fit the restrictions. Held annually in June, the Run4Lighthouse, usually attended by over 1000 participants, is one such event and this year has gone virtual.
The Run4Lighthouse ‘5kAnyWay’ encourages participants to be get out and take part however they are able: walk, run, bike, swim, dress up…be creative! With the community nominating others to join the challenge, Lighthouse has seen participants register around the world, stepping up and helping to raise essential funds.
A surge in the need for grief support is anticipated in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, as families have been unable to say goodbye to loved ones and mourning rituals have been restricted. With two-thirds of Lighthouse families being sole parents, the increased isolation and anxiety caused by this pandemic will mean grief support services will be needed more than ever.
Lighthouse families Sean Chard and Melissa Gaston share why the run is so important to them: “Lighthouse is very special to us. In 2015 we lost our spouses, and our children lost a mom or a dad. Fortunately, both of our trios found Lighthouse right away, and the peer support we received was essential in our journey forward with grief. Our unexpected connection when we met was possible because of our shared experience with loss, and also because we each had wonderful guidance in parenting children through the loss of a parent. Lighthouse was a continued resource as we blended our families into one. While we all finished our Lighthouse journey in 2018, this will be our 5th year fundraising for them. We were married in February this year and it was an easy decision to ask for donations to Lighthouse in lieu of wedding gifts. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of family and friends. This organization provides an essential service to our community, free of charge. Please participate in the virtual event, or donate to a team, so that this important work can continue to help families like ours.”
The Lighthouse signature fundraising events are vital in raising necessary funds to provide hope and healing to grieving families. Celebrate community, stretch yourself to think of a different way to complete 5k Any Way, and join the challenge between now and June 10th. Register today at www.run4lh.com or consider making a donation.
PHOTO BY Moussa Faddoul @fotoreflection