Rachel Wolff, 253.8152163
January, 18, 2010, MIAMI, FL — For six months, teams of runners from Mission 500, Miami Vineyard Church, Miami Firefighters, Miami-Dade College and other South Florida organizations and individuals have trained for the ING Miami Marathon & Half Marathon with Team World Vision, to raise funds for Haiti. They mobilized under Operation Hope for Haiti, a network of South Florida community leaders in partnership with World Vision who have been working to keep Haiti on the radar screen and provide sustained support since the hurricanes of 2008.
After the devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, these committed runners are even more motivated and more runners are joining Team World Vision to raise awareness and funds to alleviate the intense suffering and grief of the devastated population. All ING Marathon participants not currently associated with a charity are being asked to run with Team World Vision or sponsor a Team World Vision runner.
Team World Vision will now also participate in the Miami Tropical 5K on January 30 and is calling on all runners and walkers in South Florida to join them and Run/Walk for Haiti.
"As Haiti's closest American neighbor, we have a moral obligation to ensure Haiti is kept on the radar screen long after the focus of the world drifts past the harrowing headlines and images. The smallest steps lie in the heart of all movements. In solidarity, let us use our steps to help our neighbors move forward to a better life and ensure the world does not forget. Please sign up now and Run or Walk for Haiti with Team World Vision," said Julie Grimes, chairperson of Operation Hope for Haiti.
World Vision began distributing emergency relief supplies immediately after the quake rocked Haiti, since it had supplies pre-positioned for other disasters. In its race to respond and overcome the overwhelming challenges of getting relief assistance to those in need, World Vision is using all the resources at its disposal. With 800 Haitian staff already on the ground and international logistics and disaster response experts deployed, World Vision is launching humanitarian programs not only in the capital city, but also in rural areas and along the border. A World Vision airlift of 18 metric tons of supplies arrived January 15, with more on the way.
"We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of donors already," said President Rich Stearns of World Vision's United States office. "But this response will be a marathon, and we need people who will continue to run that race beside us."
David Scott, general manager of US Road Sports & Entertainment of Florida and race director of the ING Miami Marathon said today "We have recognized the outstanding efforts of Team World Vision and their participation in various races managed by US Road Sports & Entertainment. The impact they have both here in the United States and internationally has been significant and with the ING Miami Marathon just two weeks away, what better opportunity is presented to us than partnering with them for this event. With such a large Haitian population in our South Florida community, we want to do our part in assisting with the recovery efforts for the people of Haiti."
To join Team World Vision and run or walk for Haiti relief efforts, visit www.teamworldvision.org/miami
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the world's poor- regardless of a person's religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. World Vision provides hope and assistance to over 100 million people in nearly 100 countries and is a first responder to disasters around the globe. We have been operating in Haiti for 50 years with over 800 staff providing holistic interventions in 20 communities throughout the country. For more information, visit www.worldvision.org