Love Walks, Runs and Bikes Through the Streets of Chicago’s West Side

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Warm weather brings people outside. Along with the fact that Gov. J.B. Pritcher has announced Monday, May 17, 2021, that vaccinated people can go without masks, except for designated places, Chicago will be resuming some very needed outdoor festivities.

Showing love to others in the process is World Vision, an evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy group located in the Austin area. They will be sponsoring a virtual 6K Global 3.7 miles Walk/Run for Water this Saturday, May 22. This event helps to change lives.

Rev. Tim Hoefstra, a recruiter and coach for Team World Vision Chicago, says this is the second year the event will be virtual because of the pandemic. People who sign up will walk/run from wherever they can. The 3.7 miles is the average amount of miles people in Africa walk more than once a day to obtain substandard water.

What a beautiful thing for us to do, Rev. Tim Hoefstra said at a recent meeting of the 15th Police District faith-based leaders, where he asked people to sign up for the West Side Chicago team that’s hoping to raise $1,000.

People from all over the world participate in this event. Rev. Steve Epting, the senior pastor at Hope Community Church, congregational members, and many Austin residents have been involved for a few years.

The cost to register is $50 for adults and $25 for children. This price includes a T-shirt, finisher’s medal, and a race bib with the picture of a child the participant will be supporting. This amount guarantees water for more than half the lifetime of children in countries where World Vision works.

Boxing Out Negativity: Biking For Peace

Next will be the Bike Out Negativity community ride with the lead organizer Derek Brown, Coach of Boxing Out Negativity, on Saturday, May 22. The event will begin at 10 a.m. across the street from the St. Agatha Church, located at 3147 W. Douglas Blvd.

Over 30 organizations are participating in this event, which will give local children in North Lawndale a safe and fun day to ride their bikes and make memories of love, unity, and lovepeace that will last a lifetime. Participants will have access to services such as vaccinations; the ability to register children for youth programs; free haircuts for kids by Pro Image Cuts; free care packages with athletic gear, including youth-sized basketballs from Four Point Play; gift bags; children’s books from Open Books and free soccer balls from America Scores.

The 6-mile bike ride will start at 1 p.m, traveling through many of the communities that have been riddled with violence, such as Little Village, and ending at Love Blooms Here Plaza. The Plaza will host the Lawndale Pop-Up Spot’s mini-museum exhibit dedicated to cycling, racial equity, and mobility justice. Brown feels that youth riding in unity through the community will show people in the “hot spots” some love and make them think before they shoot, showing other young people that we’re here to protect all of them.

There will also be music, food, and snacks will be served, and the Celestial Ministries youth drumline team will perform.

Instead of the community going out to these organizations or youth centers, the youth centers are coming to them, Brown said.

People walking, running, or biking through Austin, North Lawndale, or any neighborhood in the Chicago area and are permitted to discard the masks, feel free to do something that shows love to one another and can make a difference in someone’s life.

Written by Brenda Robinson
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware


AustinTalks: West Siders Walking, Running For Clean Water; by Suzanne McBride
Link to register: Walking, Running For Clean Water 
Block Club Chicago: West Side Community Bike Ride Saturday Will Be ‘A Symbol Of Peace’ For Local Youth; by Pascal Sabino
Link to register: Bike Out Negativity community ride

Featured Image Courtesy of Eli Christman’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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