Be a superhero, run to raise funds for Roanoke’s homeless families


ROANOKE (WFXR) — This Saturday, October 19th is the HomeTrust Bank Superhero Race benefitting Family Promise of Greater Roanoke. The race is taking place in conjunction with Roanoke’s GO Outside Festival.

Participants have the opportunity to don capes, be their favorite superhero, and compete for time.

However, what makes this event so special is that one-hundred percent of its proceeds go towards Family Promise of Greater Roanoke. Every individual that crosses the finish line will truly be a hero to homeless families served through Family Promise.

A nonprofit organization, Family Promise has been around the area for 21 years. The organization provides temporary shelter for 25 to 30 families a year through their network of 28 congregations. On top of that, they continue to work with another 55 to 60 families annually to make sure that they stay housed, employed, and stable.

I owe them my life, ya know, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Family Promise.

Shannon O’Toole, family served by Family Promise

Shannon, a young, and bright mother is one of many families who received life-altering support from Family Promise.

Shannon found herself homeless with her young son after escaping an abusive relationship. She had no money, very little belongings, and no network to turn to in her time of need. That is until she found Family Promise.

Family Promise provided Shannon and her son emotional support, a place to stay, and helped her obtain her Virginia driver’s license for employment.

Today, at 24-years-old, Shannon owns her own home, vehicle, and even serves on the Family Promise Board of Directors.

The stereotype is the person under the bridge holding a cardboard sign but homelessness can look like anything. Coming through our doors it’s oftentimes moms and dads with two, three, and four-year-olds who are struggling to get by. We have a lot of single dads, we have grandparents that come to the door with their grandchildren. Multiple generations come through the door, so it looks just like your neighbor usually.

Aaron Dowdy, Family Promise of Greater Roanoke- Program Coordinator

Homelessness has many faces, and as Program Coordinator, Dowdy describes it, “it looks just like your neighbor.”

By participating in this weekend’s Superhero Race, participants have the opportunity to contribute to success stories like Shannon’s and help neighbors in need.

To sign up for the race and for more information, click here.

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