In a little over a week, Anchorage Children’s Home will host The First Annual Anchors Away 6k and Family Fun Run at Panama City Beach Conservation Park, or “Gayle’s Trails” as we call it.
Though formal sponsorship opportunities have closed, Anchorage is still looking for businesses and individuals that want to contribute to runner’s grab bags.
Each participant will receive a race T-shirt, along with a bag full of goodies from local vendors. If you would like to donate an item for the grab bags whether it’s a restaurant coupon or a koozie, please contact Brooke at 850 763 7102.
If you are not a business, but a resident that would like to enjoy the sunshine on race day, Anchorage encourages you to come out and cheer on your friends if you are not participating yourself. Or if you want, you can sign up as late as right before the race on Saturday, June 23rd. The race doesn’t start until 8 am, but get there earlier, around 630 am and you can still participate. And don’t forget, the family fun run is super relaxed, so bring your stroller and your puppy….it is for the WHOLE family, four legs and all.
If you are unable to come this year, Anchorage Children’s Home would appreciate your support in other ways. Development director, Brooke Bullard explained to me that although eventually they would like this event to be a viable fundraising vehicle, that is not their sole intent.
“We do special events like this, not for fundraising, but for friend-raising.“
She added, “because the more friends we have the more people can benefit from our programs and services in our community. “
And that community she is speaking of???? Well, it is a lot bigger than you think. I did not realize how long and deep and wide it was until I sat down and visited with Brooke this Monday afternoon.
Anchorage Children’s Home serves our 6 county area, more specifically: Bay, Gulf, Jackson, Calhoun, Washington, and Holmes
A lot of PCB residents do not realize that two of their very successful programs Hannah’s house and The Bridge Transitional Living Program are located on Panama City Beach. Brooke shared proudly with me, “we just had three kids from that program graduate high school last week.” Brooke like many involved in the organization, believe that the participants just need the right resources to be empowered and guided to make the choices they need to improve their situation. “We are a hand UP, not a hand OUT”, Brooke continued. And sometimes that “hand up” is all they need to see the light at the end of the tunnel and get that cap and gown.
A couple weeks ago when I told you about the event they were having I told you that Anchorage served homelesss and at risk youth in our area, but what does that even mean?
I have to be honest, until I went to Anchorage this past week, I myself had a very cloudy understanding. But basically, Anchorage is about giving kids who have now where else to go, a safe place to go. It is a 24 hour shelter that is often the transitional home when children are removed from their homes because of a dangerous situation or while they are waiting to be place with a foster family, which this area is short on, by the way.
But more than a shelter, they provide FREE services, that many families do not even know about, including counseling and other intervention services for parents who are having a hard time with their teenager’s defiant, truant, other wise risky behavior.
But their biggest means to success outside of their Mobile Outreach program, counseling programs, Hidle House, Hannah’s House, The Bridge….. YOU.
While these program are funded by grants, every year they come up for renewal. Without the help of area residents and friends, through their Annual Giving Program, they are in danger of being cut every year. Anchorage just started a new facebook page, while you are on Pinterest reading the funny ecards and checking out skinny recipes…..why not throw a “like’ their way?
But even better….turn your “like” into a “love”…….schedule a tour of one of their facilities with a friend or your co-workers so you can see first hand the amazing strides this organziation has taken since its inception. If you would like to schedule a tour or make a donation you can call Brooke at 850 763 7102 or you can also visit their website. If you would like to make “in kind” donation, they also would appreciate that.
Items needed right now:
Travel Sized Toiletries (save your your bottles while travelling!)
Non Perishable food times for the Mobile Out Reach team (pop up lids, granola bars, water bottles, etc)
Socks, flip fops, undergarments especially for girls/young women (size 3 to 5)
Now I know at least a few of you have a couple of those mini Shampoos from the Holiday Inn or The Marriott in your bathroom drawer somewhere, right?
Beachy Beach Real Estate on the West End of Panama City Beach ( Just East of Publix) will be setting up a collection box for you to bring some of these donation items and will transport them to Anchorage on your behalf. If your heart moves you to help this wonderful organization in another way….please call Brooke Bullard, Developement Director right away at 850 763 7102 or shoot her an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
No gift, given with GREAT love, is too small.