The 2020 Esperanza 5K and 1 Mile exceeded all of our expectations, in ways we could never have imagined. A lot of work goes into the planning of the Esperanza event, the committee began planning April 29, 2019. We met monthly from September through the month of the event when we begin meeting every other week. We met at CRUMC on March 9, 2020, without a thought as to how different the event and our lives would be in two weeks.
When the committee received word on March 13 that group activities at CRUMC would be cancelled through at least April 3, we were sad and disappointed about having to cancel the Esperanza event. The committee met within days over the phone, discussed our options and decided to continue as a virtual race. A virtual race allows participants to walk or run the distance on their own, in their own neighborhood and at a time that is convenient for them. All participants are eligible to receive a hand painted ceramic finisher’s medal. We plan to distribute these at the church once we are able to safely gather, emails will be sent with the details.
How did the 2020 Esperanza exceed our expectations? At our planning meeting on March 9, there were 160 people registered for the Esperanza 5K or 1 Mile. When registration closed at midnight on Saturday, April 4, 436 people had registered to participate in the Virtual Esperanza 5K and 1 Mile! The virtual event allowed people around the country and the world to participate: a former CRUMC member who has moved to New Jersey participated and we had a participant in London, England! It was fun to see people’s pictures from their walk or run. You also can see these on Facebook by searching #esperanza5k. Or if you didn’t post a picture, you can do it now.
In addition to the blessing of many participants, we were surprised by the generosity of people. Many donations were received, and the Virtual Esperanza 5K and 1 Mile raised over $60,000 for Juntos Servimos! We are very thankful for the Esperanza sponsors, Zix, Custer Road United Methodist Church, Speech and Occupational Therapy of North Texas and North Texas Web Design.
Larry and Dr. Nancy Rodriguez Cox are so grateful for the support the Esperanza event provides to Juntos Servimos as their only ongoing fundraising event. All of the proceeds from the Esperanza will go to support the work being done at Casa Bugambilia in Matamoros Mexico. For 20 years, CRUMC has been involved with Casa Bugambilia as a medical refuge for ill and abandoned people in Matamoros. Today, there are 15 medically fragile, non ambulatory people living at Casa Bugambilia, having their needs, both basic and medical, met 24/7 by loving caretakers. Since October 2018, the medically fragile residents have been sharing the space with more than 900 refugee guests from around the world. Some guests have passed through, staying just one night, others have stayed for many months, today there are about 54 guests staying at Casa Bugambilia. These guests are mostly single parents with children who are attempting to gain legal entrance into the United States.
Juntos Servimos continues to do what they always do by providing a compassionate response to those in need. These guests receive a bed and blankets, three meals a day, facilities for bathing and laundry and a classroom for the children which was painted and decorated by a team from Custer Road UMC. Many of the guests help with cooking, cleaning, caring for the residents and teaching the children at Casa Bugambilia. It is a beautiful sight, but they need our help.
The people at Casa Bugambilia are as concerned and affected by COVID-19 as we are in the United States. Proper hand washing and the use of face masks is becoming the new normal. Movement into and out of Casa Bugambilia is limited to decrease the risk of introducing the virus among a vulnerable population. An isolation room has been created to house COVID positive people, thankfully it has not yet been used. Please pray for all those at Casa Bugambilia.
Thank you, Custer Road United Methodist Church for your ongoing support of the Esperanza 5K and Juntos Servimos. We are God’s witnesses to the ends of the earth. Check out #Esperanza 5K to see photos posted by racers!
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