This year marks the second time the Piedmont Benevolence Center held a 5,000-meter race to raise money for the organization. The 5K brought in $1,928 and boasted 111 participants, according to Heather Lamey, executive director of the Piedmont Benevolence Center. Lamey said she was pleased by the rise in participation this year compared to last year.
The Piedmont Benevolence Center is sponsored by the United Way and works with more than 20 churches to fulfill the needs of low-income families in the Piedmont area. The churches that partner with the Piedmont Benevolence Center provide one percent of their annual budget toward the organization’s general fund.
The 5K money benefited the organization’s general fund to buy food, clothing and provide assistance with utilities and healthcare. One of the latest projects the Piedmont Benevolence Center has taken on is the Regaining Access to Mobility Program (RAMP). The organization purchases the materials to build a ramp at a person’s home where mobility would be an issue without it.
“We know that we’ve got one ramp that’s going to be built from the money that we’re raising today,” Lamey said.
Last year, the organization gave out over 169,000 pounds of food to those in need. More than 100 volunteers worked over 7,000 hours to help 1,900 people, Lamey said.
David Ingram, board president and volunteer, said he spends between 12 and 20 hours a week working for the organization. Ingram said the Piedmont Benevolence Center keeps enough household goods stocked to provide a family with food, clothes and household appliances in case a house burns down.
“Anything that we can do to benefit the people that’s in need we do it,” Ingram said.
Ingram started volunteering three years ago with the Piedmont Benevolence Center after he realized his church couldn’t help everyone they would like on their own.
“It’s amazing to look back and see what God is doing,” Ingram said. “You serve God by serving others.”
Philip Martin, of Jacksonville, said his mother, who teaches a sewing class at the benevolence center, suggested he run on Saturday. Martin said he runs a few races throughout the year.
Deborah Williams, of Piedmont, decided to run her first 5K to “support a good cause.”
“I just wanted to try it and help them out,” Williams said.
Williams said she has several family members that volunteer for the Piedmont Benevolence Center and she’s proud of the work they do.
“They help so many people here in this community,” Williams said.
Staff Writer Rachael Griffin: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @RGriffin_Star.