An upcoming fun run, limited to young children, will help newborns in need during their first year of life.
The local non-profit organization Gently Hugged has again partnered with Tomorrow’s Heroes Today to put on the second annual “Super Kids Hero Fun Run” in Poway Community Park, 13094 Civic Center Drive. The Sunday, May 19 event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Due to it selling out last year, this year the number of fun run participant spots has been increased to 125, said Judy Blackford, Gently Hugged president.
“It was very successful,” she said of the run for children ages 2 to 7, plus their siblings, parents, adult family members and caregivers. Last year, with a max of 100 runners, the event raised $3,000 for Gently Hugged, which used the proceeds for its efforts to help babies in need during their first year of life.
The fun run will be divided into two groups — ages 2-4 and 5-7 — with each child receiving a superhero cape, participation medal and goodie bag. Other activities will include a Hullabaloo music performance, face painting, craft activity, superhero selfie station, yoga and more. Opportunity drawing tickets and food will be available for purchase.
The registration fee is $30 for fun run participants and $12 extra per older sibling to participate in the other activities, but not the run itself. Siblings do not get the goodie bag, cape or medal that runners receive. Adults are free. Registrations are only in advance at tinyurl.com/SuperKidsRun19. As of Tuesday, around two dozen spots remained in each registration category.
Last year, Blackford said the two organizations teamed up to put on the event in order to provide a way “to empower young kids by having them make a difference in their community” and raise awareness of Gently Hugged activities. The latter provides newborns in need with clothing, blankets and other items during their first year of life. The items are distributed through various organizations, typically via nurses or social workers.
Based at Bernardo Winery and 100 percent volunteer-run, Gently Hugged has assisted more than 3,500 infants throughout San Diego County since it formed in 2012, Blackford said. It has collection bins throughout the area, where donations of new and gently-used infant clothes (sizes newborn through 1 year), plus blankets and board books are accepted.
A collection bin will be available at the event for those who have items to donate. The child or family who donates the most new or gently-used clothing in sizes 0 to 18 months, blankets and baby books will receive the “Kid Hero Award.”
While raising money for Gently Hugged is a goal, another according to Blackford is increasing the nonprofit’s exposure and awareness. Blackford said last year that it typically helps 50 to 60 babies each month through the efforts of around 80 volunteers who clean, sort and package the clothing and blankets that are given to each baby’s caregiver. Volunteers also knit or crochet hats, booties, socks, sweaters and blankets so each infant receives at least one handmade item. For more about the group and donation bin locations, go to GentlyHugged.org.
Tomorrow’s Heroes Today is a local group formed in 2017 by mothers of newborns and small children who were looking for ways to continue their community service work with their children in tow. Activities are designed so children can help animals, people and the environment. For information its activities, go to TomorrowsHeroesToday.com.