Pitts Promise 5k hits the ground running


Pitt’s Promise for Youth welcomed June with a 5k walk/run over the weekend, where over a dozen participants raised money for the non-profit through its first ever Foster Care Awareness 5k Walk/Run.

Launching a 5k can be a challenge, but organizer Annabelle Pitts is happy with how it went.

“I think, for the first time, it went great,” Pitts said. “We had 14 runners in total, and we were expecting less than that, since it is so new. We were able to get some last-minute registrations, however. They were still really happy to be involved and help with the cause, even though it was too late to get a shirt. They’re already asking about next 5k, so we are looking forward to watching it grow.”

Pitts said the event brought in just under $500.

“I think it went absolutely amazing. All of the runners had a great time. We met early in the morning and had donuts and coffee, which was sponsored by Tim Hortons,” Pitts said. “We ran and came back for the awards ceremony before a free hot dog lunch sponsored by the Stadium Lunch. It was a great day.”

The organization was founded by Pitts, who saw a need in the community and decided to address it.

“I am a first-generation college student,” Pitts said. “I was applying for scholarships and I found one based on kids being in foster care. It was for $5,000 and I was so sure I would get it, because I spent so many years in foster care. I was denied, because I was returned to my biological parent when I was 17. I was returned, I think, in May and then turned 18 in July. I was just a few months short. I was denied for that and began wondering that, if I was denied, who else was? So, I wanted to start my own that wouldn’t have such strict criteria.”

The group officially started in July of 2022 and they’re in the late stages of forming, building up assets and being an organization that will last in the long term. While they haven’t announced any scholarship recipients yet, they’ve been working hard to offer other benefits while they do that legwork of forming themselves.

They’ve collected Christmas toys, raised hygiene products, and have collected luggage for kids within the system to carry their property in.

“When we were in foster care, we only ever had minutes to gather our belongings for a move, sometimes,” Pitts said. “We usually had to use trash bags. Picking up your life so immediately and showing up to someone carrying trash bags can make you feel worthless. Something like a suitcase can give someone dignity.”

Pitts said the group is inching closer to being able to hand out scholarships.

“We are getting very, very close. We are hoping, by the end of this year, to open our scholarship applications and awarding the start of 2024,” Pitts explained. “We are hoping to create more awareness for foster youth in the community while also creating awareness for Pitts Promise to be able to succeed and go beyond that goal.”

Reach out to Pitts by telephone at 740.961.0060 or 740.352.0798. Please, no texts. Additionally, you may reach her by email, [email protected].

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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