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Three First Time Adoptive Moms Become Race Organizers

Amy Darr, Tiffanie Upshaw, and Jeanette Sipp-White are all expecting moms, but you would not know it by looking at them. All three are slender and active in different activities that range from busily caring for a family at home to teaching high school and training for a marathon. Coming from downtown Clayton, Kirkwood, and High Ridge, Missouri, each has a unique background and interests. Yet all three of these women who were strangers to each other last year are now connected as they are waiting to be united with a child from Honduras via international adoption.

The steps involved in international adoption form an interesting process that can be costly and demand a lot of patience. Prospective parents may wait up to four years after completing their paperwork to be connected with a child. Yet, the delay in this process, a deep love for the people of Honduras, and a spirit of adventure are what led these expectant moms to organize a race benefiting orphans living on the rough streets of Tegucigalpa. All three have traveled to poorest parts of Central America and shared time and resources with those who live in these communities. Hence, when Amy, Tiffanie, and Jeanette came together around adoption, they also felt moved to work for the brothers and sisters of their children—those that they cannot take home to the United States. They are impassioned by those children in Honduras who face extra challenges. It is not easy to grow up in a country with the HIGHEST homicide rate in the world according to a recent U.N. report where 65% of the population lives below the poverty line (CIA World Factbook, 2011). These children deserve a fair chance at a future too.

After looking at several different ways to make a difference, Amy, Tiffanie and Jeanette decided that the best way to draw attention to the political, social, and economic situation in Central America and to utilize one of their shared talents, running, is to host a race. This race will be unique in that it is not only raising money for Micah 2.0 (a boy’s home in Tegucigalpa, Honduras) but it will also highlight the faces of Honduras and educate participants about the cultural richness, material needs and the inherent beauty of our neighbors living there.

Thus, the Labor of Love 5K and 1 mile run/walk was born. The event and its accompanying festivities will start at the Sons of Rest Pavilion in shady Tower Grove Park at 8:00 on Monday, September 3, 2012. The race will be a celebration of the positive accomplishments of the Micah Project—a place that provides a home, formal education, job training, and character development for boys that previously had to fend for themselves. Already, sponsors such as Flooring Systems, Interface, Page Law, CI Select, CTA , Vantage Credit Union, and Dr. Robert Schlitt have generously contributed over $3,000 to cover race expenses, so that 100% of every race entry will be completely donated to support Micah 2.0. Other sponsors, such as Wellbridge Athletic Club and Spa, Great Harvest, Big River Running Co., Run Janji, Chipotle, yurbuds, First Watch, RoadID, Russell’s Bakery, and Climb SoIll have contributed prizes, snacks, and other race necessities to make sure that the Labor of Love 5K and 1 mile run/walk is a true celebration for all participants. As part of the fun, there will be awards and prizes for the fastest finishers in each age group, attendance prizes, as well as prizes for the youngest and oldest participants. In addition, each finisher will receive a colorful race shirt. Thus, with so many people contributing to so many facets of the race, this labor of love has become a much larger team effort than the three ladies who conceived of it.

For those who are inspired to participate or who want to learn more, additional information can be found at : http://www.micah2point0.org/#/micah-20-events.

Race information:

For the Micah Project in Honduras:
Labor Day, Sept. 3, 2012. 5K at 8am, 1mi Fun Run/Walk at 8:15am. Tower Grove Park, St. Louis, MO 63110
Start/Finish at the East entrance off of Grand Ave

Facebook page for the race:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Labor-of-Love-5K-1mi-Fun-RunWalk/382182231817735
(you can find a picture of the boys here)

Micah 2.0 link to race information:
http://www.micah2point0.org/#/micah-20-events (you can register here
and get more details of the race)

Jeanette Sipp-White’s blog: mas1honduras.blogspot.com

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