Jingle all the way for the Jingle Run
If you hear the musical tinkling of jingle bells drifting down the streets of Somerset Saturday, Dec. 14, you may think Santa Claus decided to come early this year.
In reality, runners decked out in jingle bells will take part in Christ Lutheran Church’s second annual Jingle Run for Missions that day. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Kids ages 5 to 10 can participate in the 1-mile Fun Run. People ages 10 and older can run/walk in the 5K. Little tykes ages 2 to 4 can take part in the Toddler Trot.
According to education and youth director of CLC Beth Schmidt, all the money raised benefits local mission organizations and the youth mission outreach program at the church, called LIVE OUT LOUD.
“Each runner gets a bracelet with jingles,” Schmidt said. “When people hear them running, they will know they’re running for a mission.”
Last year they had 30 participants, but hope to add many more this year, Schmidt said.
“We were small, but successful,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt said she comes from a family of runners and several kids in the church who go on the mission trips are runners, so this was an idea they had last year to raise money.
Her former brother-in-law and friend, who’s a cross country and track coach at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa, helped her organize the event last year, and plans to help again this year, she said.
In 2014, the youth mission group is hoping to go on a trip to either Montana or Colorado, Schmidt said.
If they go to Montana, the group will aid residents on an American Indian reservation, maybe running a vacation Bible school, setting up a youth sports camp, or constructing and repairing buildings.
“This trip would be through a private organization and would be very different than what they’re used to,” Schmidt said.
If they go to Colorado, they would have the opportunity to help kids with disabilities, possibly at an equine camp, constructing ramps for handicapped people who can’t afford to install one themselves or other building projects.
Two years ago the kids went on a mission to Steubenville, Ohio, where they painted, repaired and refinished a porch for a woman who took in foster kids, Schmidt said.
On these trips they might host day camps for kids who have no other place to go, with snacks and crafts, she said. The kids sleep in a church while they’re away.
The kids also do local mission work, Schmidt said. Not long ago, the middle and high school students went to Baldwin and helped pack care packages for homeless people that included sample-size essentials. They’ve also been part of work benefitting Grace Place, she said.
Schmidt and Pastor Kathy Tulman work with national organizations to find opportunities, like Youthworks, an ecumenical mission group, or Group Mission Trips, a foundation that offers mission trips focused on home repair or community service. The pastor also hears from others of people in need, Schmidt said.
Anyone interested in participating in the Jingle Run for Missions can pre-register by Nov. 22 by going to www.somersetlutheran.org or by calling 715-247-3341.
All registrants get a T-shirt and refreshments in the church fellowship hall after the event.
Pre-registering cost for the Fun Run is $20, and $30 for the 5K. Participants can also register at 8 a.m. the day of the event. The cost increases $5 after Nov. 22, mostly because of the deadline for the T-shirt order, Schmidt said. T-shirt sizes cannot be guaranteed to those registering the day of the Jingle Run.