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Running in the Turkey Trot Strengthens Our Community

Running in the Turkey Trot Strengthens Our Community

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When you run, walk or stroll in the 31st edition of the 2019 Lynchburg Turkey Trot, this Thanksgiving, you know you will be supporting HumanKind and all the great work they do to empower children, individuals, and families in our community to improve their lives.

But you might be amazed at the depth and breadth of that work, and its impact on the community. Let’s take a look at the awesome effect your participation in the Turkey Trot is having on people in and around Lynchburg.

1. Empowering People to Live Better

Since 1903, HumanKind’s mission has been consistent: providing guidance and assistance to those striving to live better and healthier lives. The organization’s 24 programs focus on equal opportunities for all citizens, particularly in the areas of education, housing, transportation, employment, health care (including mental health) and food security.

2. Special Focus: Workforce Development

HumanKind’s Economic Opportunity programs help individuals and families develop their own plans for financial success. Through educational workshops and loan assistance, clients get educated about how to eliminate debt and move toward financial stability. One example is the Ways to Work program.

Let’s face it, if you live in Central Virginia, your mobility is significantly compromised without a car. Kathy Boyd, a single mother of three, was in line for a promotion but was plagued by transportation issues. Through Ways to Work, Kathy received a low-interest loan for a used vehicle. She got that promotion and has dramatically increased her family income as a result. The Ways to Work program is just one example of HumanKind’s financial stability effort.

3. Another Special Focus: Early Childhood Development

HumanKind provides a full continuum of services for children zero-to-five, when brain development largely determines lifelong learning ability. These programs include The Motherhood Collective, which prepares women for healthy pregnancies and beyond; Little Wings Early Learning Center; support for other child care providers; and a home visiting program that promotes the growth of healthy families.

By integrating all these services, the HumanKind team ensures that early childhood professionals are effective educators, parents provide safe and nurturing environments, and children are prepared for a lifetime of success.

“Both business and community leaders support our work because all our services lead to workplace development, which translates to business growth, employment opportunities and better lives for individuals and families in our community,” says Bob Dendy, president and CEO of HumanKind.

4. So Many Other Services

The organization that eventually became HumanKind opened 116 years ago as a home for five orphan children. Today, HumanKind strengthens individuals, families, and communities through care, counseling and education, just as the Turkey Trot strengthens the bodies of its participants.

When you enter the race, your support makes possible everything above, plus mental and behavioral health services, youth and family supports like parenting classes and foster care, and a full array of programs for adults with developmental disabilities.

If that sounds great to you, you can strengthen your own body and the futures of thousands of your neighbors by registering for the Lynchburg Turkey Trot at

Who knew that having a great Thanksgiving could help our community so much!


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