Kelly and Jason Preston started the non-profit ministry RACE for the Orphans to advocate for the needs of orphans. COURTESY/Kelly Preston
NEWNAN – Despite the destruction in Newnan after the devastating tornado, a 5K race will fill the downtown streets of this historic community with the sound of runners and walkers of all ages. RACE for the Orphans is holding its 9th annual 5K on Saturday, May 8, inviting individuals and groups to enjoy a family friendly RACE. The 5K is also an official qualifying event for the AJC Peachtree Road Race.
RACE for the Orphans is a non-profit ministry that was started by Kelly and Jason Preston, church members at First Baptist Newnan. RACE stands for Raising Awareness, Compassion and Education and works to advocate for the needs of orphans. RACE for the Orphans provides several avenues of support for adoptive families, including the 5k RACE in May. The funds that are raised are given to families who are adopting children either domestically or internationally. The Preston’s ministry also provides an annual retreat for adoptive and foster moms in September called REST.
Long before Kelly and Jason were married with four children, they were cross country and track runners at Samford University. After graduating as friends, they reconnected a few years later at a singles ministry at the church they attended. They moved to Newnan in 2005 and have been active members at First Baptist Church ever since.
Running and adoption came together in 2013 when the Preston’s were in the process of adopting one of their four children from China.
“We chose to do a 5K as a fundraiser since we didn’t have an extra $35,000 in the bank,” Kelly shares. “We were not a non-profit at the time (2013) so we didn’t make much money for our personal fundraiser, but it was so well received by our community – with more than 350 participants – that we decided to continue doing the RACE every year to help raise funds for other adopting families in the state of Georgia. Since that time in 2013, the RACE has grown exponentially with more than 1,000 participants annually and more than $240,000 raised, all to help bring children home to their forever families through the miracle of adoption.”
There will be a Tot Trot for ages 5 and under ($10.00) a Mile fun run/walk ($20.00), and a 5K which is a USATF Certified Course and AJC Peachtree Road Race Qualifier ($30.00). Prices increase by $5.00 on May 3rd. All registration details and more information can be found at http://www.racefortheorphans.org
Those who want to support the cause virtually can do so by ordering shirts or making a donation.
Nine families will be recipients of grants from funds that will be raised by the RACE. You can learn more about these families by visiting the website.
The website also has more information about the REST Retreat for adoptive and foster moms. Registration opens for the retreat in July.