You Light the Night Virtual 5k Brings Light to People Living in Darkness
From September 18 - September 28, Unite to Light (UTL) will host its first-ever virtual, global 5K for light: a campaign designed to help people stay active and engaged during this time of uncertainty, while also increasing awareness of the 1 billion people living without electricity across the globe.
For these people, “sheltering at home” during the pandemic has added hardship. Students from Mexico to Malawi have trouble keeping up with assignments in dark huts. Midwives are often the only trained medical providers in a community and are now doing double duty training people on how to wash hands, wear face coverings and maintain social distance. Our neighbors experiencing homelessness have been cut off from services and are fearful of going to shelters.
The “You Light the Night” Virtual 5k is a way for people to give back, while also staying connected to their community. Over a period of ten days, people are invited to walk, run, hike, roll, bike, paddle or swim 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) in the location of their choosing.
Participants register via UTL’s website, and sign-up as an individual or as part of a team. Teams can support specific projects of their choosing. To register, there is a requested donation of $10 (the cost of a solar light!) but there is no minimum fundraising commitment. Participants will receive a downloadable sign to show their support, as well as a solar Luke Light for those who raise $50 or more and a Solar Charger for those who raise $150 or more.
“This is a great opportunity for people to raise funds to send solar lights and solar power to causes that they care about,” stated Megan Birney, President & CEO of Unite to Light. “For every $10 raised, we’ll donate a solar Luke Light, or for $30 raised, we’ll donate a Charger. People just need to register and list the benefiting organization in their Team name. If people don’t register a Team, we’ll send their donation to the project with the highest need.”
While participating, UTL encourages participants to share inspiration with friends and loved ones by posting photos they take of their activity using the hashtag #YouLightTheNight.
For more details on registration and participation, please visit the UTL website: https://www.unitetolight.org/fundraise.html.
Quote from Sofia Tognotti, lead youth organizer of UTL’s You Light the Night 5K: “During this time, everyone is looking for something to do. While brainstorming ideas for a fundraiser, we thought of a 5k because we can still socially distance while being active and making a difference.”