The Mercury News | April 17, 2022
By: Anne Gelhaus
A Milpitas-based nonprofit is putting running shoes on the ground to kick off Foster Care Awareness Month May 1 with its sixth annual Foster5K.
The virtual 5k is hosted by community members in Silicon Valley seeking to raise funds and awareness for Child Advocates of Silicon Valley and its Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, which support children in Santa Clara County’s foster care system.
“We are thrilled that Foster5k will be held in May this year during Foster Care Awareness Month,” said Frederick J. Ferrer, CEO of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley. “The children we serve are some of the most vulnerable in our community. When our community shows up, like this community-led event and its participants do every year, we are able to provide foster children with the nurturing support and resources they need to thrive.”
In fiscal year 2021, Child Advocates served 849 foster children through its CASA program, which recruits, trains and supports community members appointed by a judge to advocate for the best interests of a child in foster care. The majority of the funds raised to support these efforts are through donations.
The Foster5K is integral to the nonprofit’s fundraising efforts, event co-chair and Child Advocates board member Debbie Crouse said.
““I’ve always wanted to host the Foster5K in May,” she added. “I felt it was only appropriate to raise awareness during Foster Care Awareness Month.
“I choose to be on the board of Child Advocates and focus on awareness and fundraising because of the direct impact CASAs have on positive outcomes for children in foster care,” Crouse said.
While the first race in 2017 was held in Los Altos, participants in this year’s virtual event can choose the route and time they want to run.
Foster5K co-chair Joy Erf said she’s proud that organizers not only sustained the event through the pandemic but have longstanding sponsors, committee members and participants.
“This is not like other races. People are signing up because they want to help children in foster care. I cannot imagine my children making it through the pandemic without our family unit intact,” Erf said.
Race registration is $40 at Foster5k.org and includes T-shirts, a goody bag and a raffle.
View this article in The Mercury News.