Three Libertyville nonprofits are collaborating for the inaugural Neighbor to Neighbor 5K run and 3K fun walk Sunday to help those struggling with shelter, food or mental health issues.
Lake County Haven, Youth & Family Counseling and Libertyville Township routinely work together but joined to sponsor the run/walk as a fundraiser to help people in need.
Proceeds fund local essential services such as shelter, the township’s food pantry, and counseling at Youth & Family. Needs have increased since the pandemic fueled isolation, alcoholism and other issues, said Laura Sabino, executive director of Lake County Haven, which provides shelter and services to homeless women and children.
“People are hurting,” she said. “I see it every time I’m in traffic.”
The event is 9 a.m. Sunday at Independence Grove Forest Preserve on Route 137 just east of Libertyville. Registration is available online through Saturday and on-site beginning at 7:30 a.m. Entry is $30 with no charge for children 4 years and under. There also will be a live band and kids’ activities.
Visit raceroster.com and search Neighbor to Neighbor 5K or visit Lake County Haven on Facebook.
About 130 people had signed up as of Thursday afternoon.
“Funds from this event will support our efforts to make our services accessible and affordable for people from all walks of life,” said Janelle Miller Moravek, executive director of Youth & Family Counseling. The agency helps people cope with challenges, heal from traumas and reach their potential.
The Libertyville Township food pantry is available to any township resident and its community emergency fund helps residents facing a financial crisis, such as eviction or utility shut off.
Funds raised by the 5K will support both programs, according to township Supervisor Kathleen O’Connor.
Sabino said many people are unaware of the safety net various community agencies provide through coalitions and collaboration. People may appear to be doing well without others being aware they are facing difficulties, she added.
She said the money raised “will help us keep the lights on, the doors open, and the support provided 24/7.”
Live music features a group with two guitarists and singer Julia Dimitriou, a Lake County Haven alum who made it out of a life of homelessness. She “graduated” from the program and now works as a case manager there.