The White River Marathon for Kenya has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the village of Katito, Kenya, providing potable water wells, clothing and a host of other necessities working in conjunction with World Vision. The first 14 years of WRM donations went to the WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) program. Since we have helped to complete those projects we have elected to funnel our funds to mother and child services, still to the village of Katito.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. Working in nearly 100 countries around the world, they serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.
Often WRM is asked, "what percentage of the registration fee goes to World Vision?" There are many variables which dictate the race's donation to World Vision, but we offer the following, outlining our annual donations:
WRM Running Shoe Drive!
WRM is teams with Eco Sneakers to make the best use of your used and worn out running shoes.
From the gnarly, dog chewed, yard worked, paint splattered snarly shoes to the gently used, "they didn't match my new Garmin band," with micro treads still on the outsole, we'll take them!
Reuse, Renew, then Recycle! See what Eco Sneakers is all about.
The story of the White River Marathon began upon the meeting of race founder Laurie Kasinger and Rev. David Johnson, upon David's return to Mountain Home, Arkansas from a trip with World Vision staff to Katito, Kenya. On that trip he witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by the HIV/AIDS pandemic that was sweeping through Africa, in village after village, wiping out an entire generation of adults and leaving thousands of orphans in its wake. He saw the children with his own eyes, their grief and pain, the helpless and hopeless look in the eyes of those whose parents had been taken and would never again be there to provide for them, care for them, and help them survive.
David also saw a vision, a vision that World Vision had to meet the needs of these children through Child Sponsorships. As he was sharing this vision upon his return, and the opportunity that people here had to get involved and make a difference, he met a runner named Laurie Kasinger who had a vision of her own to host a marathon to raise money for children like those we had just seen in Kenya - and the rest is history.
What began as the Mountain Home Marathon for Kenya 2003 has become the White River Marathon for Kenya, under a new race director - Paul Gigliotti. Paul and his team are continuing the vision of using a race to raise funds to supplement Child Sponsorships to provide for wide-reaching projects and special needs like deep water wells and a host of resources focusing on the health of mothers and children. We celebrate all the lives that have been touched and transformed in Mountain Home and Katito, Kenya through child sponsorship and the marathon.
The race has transgressed, helping the neighboring community in Bandaptai, Kenya. Because Kaitito is nearing self-sufficiency, World Vision is working with local leaders to bring clean water, education, spiritual nurture, and much more through child sponsorship. This time however, we are inviting children to choose you! Please check out this short video and come prepared to be Chosen.
Lives continue to be transformed! Let the story continue!