Runners make way for safe kids

12/10/2010

STRATEGY TO KEEP KIDS SAFE—A race raised funds for the child car-seat ministry by Church of the Servant.

By Robyn Goggs

A new ministry began on a crisp October morning as 300 people gathered for the "Fit to Serve" 5K run/walk sponsored by OKC-Church of the Servant.

Organized by the mission council and supported by the enthusiastic congregation, this first-ever running event became the vehicle to launch the church’s Car Seats for Kids Project. A spirit of mission and service to the community was at the heart of all the planning.

Racers keep pace in northern Oklahoma City. Crimson Clover Photography

The car seats ministry was assigned to me upon my arrival in June as the minister responsible for mission. I wondered, "Car seats? Is that truly a need?"

Through my research and collaboration with the Oklahoma Safe Kids Coalition, I learned it is.

A recent Safe Kids survey found four out of five child car seats were improperly installed. In 2008, accidents killed 71 children in Oklahoma due to improper installation or lack of a car seat.

I witnessed the need firsthand this summer at a giveaway in southwest Oklahoma City. There were 100 seats available; 45 minutes into the event, none were left and the many people still in line were turned away.

The church’s 5K event raised funds to purchase 140 seats. Prior to the run, Robert Gorrell, our senior pastor, set the tone with a prayer that reminded us we were "big feet running for little feet."

Now Church of the Servant will become a fitting station in northwest Oklahoma City, with members trained as fitters by the National Highway Patrol. The ministry will begin in partnership with Safe Kids in January. The Second Annual Fit to Serve 5K will be next October.

One step at a time, we hope this event is another way Church of the Servant is transforming the community.


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