Running To End Homelessness In Hawai‘i
Lace up your running shoes Thanksgiving morning for the Homeward Bound 5K to help end homelessness Valley District Park (2721
The community event was created nine years ago by two Punahou cross-country runners, Tama Fukuyama and Maya Grossman, who noticed a lot of homelessness while on their runs. Impacted by what they saw, they decided to start a race to raise money for Institute for Human Services.
Since t hen, Homeward Bound 5K has raised more than $150,000 for IHS, and went from 132 finishers the last year.
The project also has become a t radition for t he Punahou girls cross-country team, with two runners selected to organize the event every two years.
“It’s a really good way to give back to IHS on Thanksgiving,” says Claire Cutler, co-organizer of this year’s event with Mia Schiel. “We toured IHS recently and it was really eye-opening. It made it very real and reminded us on why we’re doing what we’re doing.”
Cutler and Schiel, both seniors, were joined on the tour with sophomores Kaila Ron have inherited co-organizer duties for the 2018 and 2019 Homeward Bound 5K runs.
“It remains a student-run activity with minimal adult help and isn’t directly related to their cross-country t raining,” notes Punahou cross- country head coach Duncan Macdonald. “It’s a public service as runners for the community, and I’m really proud of them for doing it.”
“We tend to run early in the day or late in the evening — times when a lot of people might not necessarily be out, and we’ll see homeless individuals, especially when we run through the parks,” adds Cutler, who has been running I live in Kailua, so I run through Kailua a lot, and by the beach park and Kawainui Marsh — areas where homelessness is prevalent.
“It’s not right for us to see that and not do anything.”
take place after the run, with prizes for top finishers and will be refreshments, and all participants will receive a T-shirt.
Early registration is $35 ($20 for high school teams and ends Nov. 13. General - or race day (registration and Entry is free for children age 5 and under. To register or for more information, visit homewardboundhawaii.org.
Mia Schiel (left) and Claire Cutler at last year’s Homeward Bound 5K.