GREENVILLE — For the fourth consecutive year, the non-profit organization Have Mercy will be hosting 5K and 10K races to help raise funds for emergency housing and food for the homeless in Montcalm and Ionia counties.
Scheduled for Sept. 13, the event will be held at Klackle Orchards and will feature the two races, plus a Wag-n-Walk dog walk and a pancake breakfast.
Have Mercy provides temporary shelter and sometimes food assistance for families and individuals in crisis. Since 2012, Have Mercy has assisted more than 110 families and 55 homeless persons find emergency housing, often a motel, and has worked with those same people to find permanent housing by connecting them with the necessary resources to do so.
“They don’t have an income or a support network,” observed Kim Cain, executive director of Have Mercy.
And when someone loses a job or is evicted from a home, it often affects more than just that person.
“Homeless families usually have homeless children,” said Mark Adkins, who helps organize the fundraisers for Have Mercy. “Children without a home don’t have a normal upbringing. We’re trying to help these families anyway we can.”
Because Have Mercy is largely funded by private and corporation donations, with some grant money, fundraisers like the Mercy Run and Wag-n-Walk event are important.
Cost for the 10K and 5K races, which will begin at 9 a.m., is $25.
“The 10k is very challenging because there are a lot of hills on it,” Cain noted.
The Wag-n-Walk entry fee is $20 per person and $5 for any additional members.
This is the first year the Mercy Run has added the Wag-n-Walk, which allows for participants to walk with their pets.
“We wanted to incorporate something for those who don’t run,” Adkins said.
Montcalm County Animal Control officers will be present at the event with adoptable pets.
A pancake breakfast will be held from 8 to 11 a.m.
Have Mercy is still looking for sponsors for the event. Sponsorships range from $50 to $250. Anyone interested can call Adkins at (248) 202-7879.