Faithful Servant Missions (FSM) is holding its sixth annual Run with a Mission and Family Fun Festival on Saturday, March 30 at 8:30 a.m. in Nocatee.
The event offers a 5k, 10K and a one-mile Fun Run through community streets and the paved Nocatee Greenway Trails, starting and finishing in the Nocatee Splash Park parking area.
The race will be followed by a free Family Fun Festival that will include a bounce house, balloon artist, food, prizes, silent auction, vendors and more.
“The Family Fun Festival event is what sets our run apart from other runs,” FSM Run Coordinator Julianne Overby said. “People can come out to run, support the runners or just come to enjoy the festival.”
FSM is a nonprofit Christ-centered organization that provides physical, educational and spiritual support to children in Costa Rica. Founded in 2006 by members of the Jacksonville community, FSM has built recreation and education facilities, a church and a parsonage in Costa Rica. FSM works in conjunction with many local churches in Jacksonville and the Beaches, including Beach Church, Church of Eleven22, Ponte Vedra United Methodist, Waypoint Church and Ponte Vedra Presbyterian Church.
The event in Nocatee raises money to continue the nonprofit’s efforts in Costa Rica. Cheryl Bradford, president of the FSM board, said the community where their mission is located exists on drugs and prostitution. She said the drug situation is the worst they have seen in the 12 years they have been there.
“There are children that are in various stages of life and the whole mission of FSM is to take these children from that beginning point and help break the cycle of poverty,” Overby said. “We introduce them to Jesus and all those things that will help them have opportunities in life that they could never have in the place in which they were born.”
Overby said changing the life cycle for the children makes such a huge difference to the entire family. She said it helps bring the parents into the mission where they can encounter Jesus and learn different ways to bring in money and support.
“Just like in America when children take their parents to church, it has become a beacon of light that changes their lives,” said Overby.
Since the FSM Run with a Mission began six years ago, it has increased the number of runners and financial impact for the mission significantly.
To sign up for the run, visit runsignup.com/runwithamission. For more information on FSM, visit www.fsm4u.org.