RAH! The Sound of Community Coming Together to Fight Hunger
The small, tree-lined neighborhood of Ardmore is a close-knit community near downtown Winston-Salem. It is the type of neighborhood where you see children riding their bikes on the sidewalk trailed by jogging parents and neighbors talking to each other from their driveways. But even beyond the obvious neighborliness and the pretty homes, Ardmore has also quickly gained the reputation of being a community of goodwill.
Every fall, Ardmore is the home to the Ardmore RAH! benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank. Etymologically speaking, RAH! is an acronym for Run Against Hunger— but it has also become a rallying call for Ardmore’s commitment to making their community hunger-free.
The RAH! is community working together at its best. Redeemer Presbyterian Church, housed at the center of the neighborhood and serving as ground zero for all race day activities, and RAH! co-directors and founders Jeanie Baird, Julie Mullen and David Mullen all work tirelessly to promote and execute the event.
“Food is one of the most basic human needs. Enough of it is produced every year to feed every person in our country. And, yet, far too many of our neighbors go without for a variety of reasons,” say RAH! organizer David Mullen. “In fact, our area is one of the hardest hit in our state when it comes to food insecurity. While the numbers can be overwhelming, we didn’t want them to be paralyzing. We wanted to do what we could, no matter how small, to help provide meals to our neighbors in need. That’s why we Run Against Hunger (RAH)! Because every step a runner takes and every sponsorship a local business gives combine to make a meaningful impact in the lives of our neighbors.”
In 2016 (the RAH!’s 14th year) over 600 people donned their running shoes and hit the Ardmore streets, responding to the call of the RAH! and raising over 1,476 pounds of food and $20,500 for Second Harvest.
Committed to providing ways for everyone to be involved, the RAH! features a 1-mile fun run, a 5K run/walk, a 10K and The Second Helping Club (for those brave enough to do the 5K and 10K). This means that from the avid runner to the casual walker, anyone can participate and make the RAH! a success.
To date, the RAH! has raised over a million meals for Second Harvest Food Bank. We, in turn, work with over 450 on the ground partner programs to distribute that food to the 18 counties of Northwest North Carolina. Second Harvest annually distributes nearly 4.6 million meals to Forsyth County alone, working with a network of 130 local partner programs.
More than meals, the Ardmore RAH! is dedicated to building awareness of food insecurity and helps to keep this important issue on the forefront of their communities mind.
For these reasons, and many more, Second Harvest has nominated the Ardmore RAH! Squad for the 2017 Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards.
They have our vote and we hope that they have yours, too. RAH! RAH! RAH!