It seems as if a lot of people are participating in various running events throughout the central Pennsylvania region, whether “standard” 5K runs, mud and obstacle runs, color runs, or half-marathons. Perhaps you have already participated in some of these runs—or are interested in trying one for the first time.
The Diakon Outdoor Adventure Challenge is personally my favorite 5K race in the area. The beautiful trails, the fun and challenge of the high-ropes course and the Alpine Tower, along with the opportunity to see firsthand how Diakon Youth Services positively affects our youths, combine to make this a fun and unique event.
Whether you are currently a non-runner, beginner, or experienced racer I challenge you to put this Sept. 20 race on your calendar and invest some time this summer to increase your fitness level while preparing for it.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 24.7 million children live apart from their biological fathers; many have little or no contact with them at all. The consequences of this statistic are overwhelming, considering that children lacking a father figure in their lives are at an increased risk of mental illness, behavioral issues, poverty, suicide, and substance abuse, and they are 20 times more likely to get in trouble with the law.
But there is still hope for these young people. There are men in our communities and extended families who have been filling in that gap by mentoring and “fathering” those who need it most. Several students who have been involved with Diakon Youth Services shared their stories of how someone took time to be a father figure and have a life-changing effect on their lives.
It was 10 a.m. on a summer day around this time last year.
I am standing in the tomato patch at Cumberland Crossings, a Diakon senior living community in Carlisle, Pa. Next to me are Denzel, a student from Diakon’s Center Point Day Treatment Program, and Elena, an intern from Dickinson College.
I reach my hand into the tomato plant in front of me to grab a ripe cherry tomato hidden under some branches, but my hand encounters something along the stem soft and squishy. I pull the branch down to take a better look and find a tomato horn worm.