By Emma Young
Kate Shifflett, Co-Event Director for IWALK for ACTS and Image Church Deacon, is delighted with this year’s plans for IWALK for ACTS on Saturday, October 1. “We’re excited to be hosting this year’s IWALK at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center. The location allowed us to add a run as well as our traditional 5K walk. Post-race [is] an on-site festival that will have something for everyone- young to old! From performances, to arts and crafts, to moon bounces, to gaming stations, kids and kids-at-heart will enjoy the free party,” she enthused.
The family fun and community gathering is only part of what makes the event both successful and important. The other key element: it benefits ACTS (Action in Community Through Service), and private, non-profit organization based in Dumfries, and all dollars stay local. “At Image Church, we are called to service and have been partnering with ACTS since we first started meeting a decade ago,” explained Shifflett. “Aside from raising funds, IWALK for ACTS is raising awareness of the services we provide,” said Steve Liga, ACTS CEO.
ACTS benefits residents of Prince William County in numerous ways. This 501(c)3 organization:
- distributes 22 tons of food a month to families and individuals in need,
- operates a crisis hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, that fields over 4500 calls a month,
- is one of the few centers serving as a back-up for overflow calls to the national suicide prevention hotline,
- provides free sexual assault or suicide counseling within an hour of notification by law enforcement or medical professionals,
- operates an 18-bed homeless shelter,
- manages a thrift store that sells 500-800 pieces of clothing per day, and
- serves as court advocate and accompaniment to empower victims of domestic violence, according to Liga.
“I’m excited for IWALK. It is always a blast, and to have it at a public venue like Stonebridge, that’s going to let more people know what we do. The more people who know what we do, the more people we can help. ACTS in is their neighborhood. It is a part of the community for the benefit of the community,” said Liga.
One remarkable element to ACTS programs? “All services we provide are free of charge to clients,” stated Liga. “Part of the way we can do that is by raising money through IWALK. Every dollar stays local. The money raised through the IWALK allows us to really be there for whatever the need is in the community,” he said.
How can you help? “Come to the IWALK! I guarantee you’ll have a blast! It is really going to be a lot of fun,” declared Liga.
IWALK for ACTS is being held on Saturday, October 1 at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge. Registration for the 5K walk/run begins at 8:00 a. m. and the race starts at 9:00 a. m. The Festival begins at 10:00 a. m. and goes until 2:00 p. m.
For more information and to register, visit www.iwalkforacts.com.
Emma Young is a freelance writer living in Dumfries. She’ll be bringing her family to IWALK and hopes to see many there!