In April and May 2018, Foreign Service community members in at least 55 cities around the world “competed” in the fourth annual Around the World Virtual 5K, raising a total of $2,264. Individuals and teams ran a 5k in a location of their choice in the month of April. With over 422 participants (not including the four-legged variety), runners posted pictures from Abidjan to Yokohama.
This year, the chosen cause was the AAFSW Family Crisis Fund. Started by EFM Sheila Switzer and other volunteers, the fund provides small financial grants to EFMs in need. Often these grants help women facing divorce and lacking a home, a support network, or a job due to living abroad.
Individual participants and teams of up to 40 members participated this year. Plenty of children and dogs have participated since the Around the World Virtual 5K began and this year one dog (chosen at random) received a dog care package including bones and treats! Three families with participating kids also won copies of the “Embassy Kids Coloring Book.” Other prizes were given at random to teams and individuals who completed their 5k and posted a picture on the Facebook page.
Lauren Ketchum, an EFM in Mexico City, created the t-shirt design and teams around the world sported the blue shirts in blazing sun, pouring rain, or pleasant weather. One team had to cancel their run three times before finally getting the run in at the last minute.
In 2019, the race will continue! Signups will begin in January. You can learn more on the “Around the World 5k Race/Walk” page on Facebook.