Why run? For some it is simply exercise, a way to keep the body in shape. But for some of us, it is more than that. It is a metaphor for life; we run because of what it tells our hearts and souls. As each mile passes and we accomplish things that we never thought possible, we are reminded of our own strength. We are empowered. We cross those finish lines and feel, deep in our souls, that our Creator did in fact make us to be strong, courageous, fighters. With Him we are capable of achieving goals that we previously thought were crazy.
Isn’t that the same message that we want each of the youth aging out of foster care to believe for their own lives? Don’t we want every single one of them to discover that they just might be stronger than they thought they were? That they just might be capable of more than they ever dreamed possible?
Below are some numbers that show the extent of what’s happening with youth who age out of the system.
On any given day more than 500,000 youth are in some form of foster care cross the United States. Nearly 80,000 live in California
Nationally, each year an estimated 20,000 of these youth emancipate or “age out” of the foster care system, and are discharged into the world, whether or not they are prepared to transition to adulthood. 65% of them do so without a place to live and many don’t have the skills necessary to live on their own
Over 70% of all state penitentiary inmates have spent time in the foster care system
Over 40% of foster youth are moved 3 or more times and 11% are moved 5 times or more. It takes approximately 4-6 months for a child to recover academically after changing schools
Former foster youth experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at a rate two times the level of U.S. war vets
51% of the youth are unemployed within 2-4 years of emancipation
67% of females who emancipated form the child welfare system had at least one baby within 5 years of leaving care
Without housing, youth are less likely to complete their education, find employment, and gain access to health care, all of which jeopardize their ability to make a successful transition to adulthood
So come run with us this fall. Run for yourself. Run for your body and soul. But, more importantly, run for foster youth. Run so that they might have opportunities to be reminded of their own courage, strength, and power in Christ.
On October 13, 2013 a team from the ReGenesis community will be running the Long Beach Half Marathon and we will fundraise for our efforts on behalf of ReGenesis. Half marathon not your thing? There is also a 5k, full marathon, and 26.2 mile bike ride option.
We’d love for you to join us, either as a runner on our team or as a supporter of one of these runners! To sign up with our team or for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.