Walk for Life next Saturday

Published 5:42 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

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The Rachel’s Hope Walk for Life is back for a fourth go-round next Saturday at East Side Lake.

The event, which runs 10 a.m. to noon, is a fundraiser for Rachel’s Hope, allowing it to continue offering a place for mothers to come and receive needed supplies such as diapers, formula and clothes as well as education for pregnancy, parenting and child development.

However, this year funds are going to building upkeep at Rachel’s Hope, located at 808 West Oakland Ave.

Walkers take part in the first ever Walk for Life, a fundraiser for Rachels Hope, in 2018. Herald file photo

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“Part of it is a fundraiser for us,” said Director Linda LaVallie. “This year money is going to replace the wheelchair ramp and update some of our older curriculum. I think that’s kind of the selling point.”

However, part of the event, which has raised around $19,000 in the three previous years, is simple awareness, a continuing effort to get the word out to expecting or current mothers between birth and 21 months.

“We want young families here,” LaVallie said. “Anybody pregnant or having a baby can come.”

The services Rachel’s Hope offers is support at its base.

“A big part of it is having the emotional support of having someone to talk to about your baby,” LaVallie said.

And the Walk for Life is a great way to get that word out. Aside from the walk, there are games for kids, snacks and this year there is a pacifier hunt.

Pacifiers will be hidden around East Side Lake for people to find with plenty of prizes including one $100 gift card for Pizza Ranch.

“Every year our supporters come out, and volunteers,” LaVallie said. “But we’re missing the community not understanding this is a free, fun event. They don’t have to give. Just come out and enjoy the day.”

Information will be on hand for what Rachel’s Hope has to offer and different churches will have booths set up for those looking for a church to call home.

Rachel’s Hope itself has been doing well over the past year and hasn’t seen a whole lot of fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, Rachel’s Hope saw an influx of people making use of the facility, seeking assistance and education.

LaVallie said it’s been a blessing to be able to help so many people.

“It’s been fantastic,” LaVallie said. “It’s interesting. During a time where COVID hit and we thought we were going to be struggling to survive, it’s been quite the opposite. We were able to offer more than ever.”

They’ve even been able to add on a taxi service, funded by grant money over a five-year span.

Overall, the event is a great way to get outside and enjoy some fun.

“Win some prizes and learn something at the same time,” LaVallie said.