The NGO Elem, which assists at risk youth in Israel, will be holding its third annual fundraising run in the city of Holon on November 22nd
The run, which will be held in Holon for the first time, will comprise of three running tracks including a professional 10 kilometers run, the national championship of five kilometers for youth, and a three kilometer race.
The funds raised at the event will benefit Elem’s activities nationwide such as counselling centers for youth, prevention and treatment of sexual violence, and night patrols to help youth at risk who are homeless or work in prostitution, among others.
Executive director of the NGO, Efrat Shaprut told the Jerusalem Post this week, that the run is “ a great opportunity to create a large scale event that connects people for a good cause.”
“First they connect to sports, which is trendy and healthy and also to the projects that we operate for at risk youth, with the goal helping them get back on their feet,” she said.
This year, Shaprut said the NGO is expecting some 1,500 people to participate in the event. Among them are also businesspeople, professional competitive runners, celebrities, soldiers, students, as well as some of the youth who receive aid from Elem.
“The year 2013 was a tough time to raise donations, so the proceeds from this run is money that we can use to fund some projects that are harder to fundraise for like shelters for homeless youngsters,” Shaprut explained.
Director-general of the Holon municipality Hana Hertzman told the Post that the city is “very happy and proud” to be hosting the run this year.
“This is another demonstration of the amazing cooperation between us and Elem,” she stated, “We believe it is very important to raise awareness for their activity.”
The NGO has been operating an activity center for at-risk youth and a patrolling volunteer team in Holon for over ten years.
Hertzman also pointed out that investing in children and youth is part of the long-term strategic vision and mission of the municipality.
Shaprut added that for her, being at the event each year is “crazy emotional and very inspiring.”
“I see a lot of people between 35 and 40 years old who come and take the time to run in addition to all the things they have to do in their daily lives,” she said, “You just meet so many beautiful people who want to help and do something for others.”
“The youngsters that we help are also very touched, it gives them hope and inspiration,” she added.
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