Brian and I were deeply involved with the Labor Run, a fun run (or walking) event benefitting the Wichita Treehouse organization. The Treehouse is an organization that helps economically challenged moms get back on their feet by providing valuable education/training and also low-cost baby items.
Brian and I typically do volunteer work that is low commitment. We sign up to volunteer, we show up and work a few hours (taking it very seriously, of course – Brian and I are nerds like that), and then go home. Actually, Brian hates volunteering (not only is he uncharitable with his money, he is equally uncharitable with his time) so I usually have to drag him into it. He doesn’t do volunteer work very often but, when he does volunteer, he doesn’t do it half-assed. That is for sure.
We got involved with the Labor Run from the very beginning because my friend (coworker) Natalie is on the board. She mentioned it to me at the beginning of the year. I told her that I would totally support her and to just let me know what I could do to help. Naturally, I dragged Brian with me. He needs to do some volunteer work and he would never get it done unless you make him. These ideas just don’t pop into his brain. Seriously, this man would rather sleep or watch movies or play video games in his spare time. Unfortunately, he is married to me so that rarely happens. I’m always running around doing something. I never have any spare time left and, since we pretty much do everything together, neither does he. But I digress… Back to my Labor Run story… When Brian and I attended the very first planning meeting, Natalie’s boyfriend Marvin was there. As luck would have it, Brian and Marvin knew each other over ten years ago during Brian’s stint at T-Mobile (then Voicestream Wireless). Brian joined Voicestream in 1999 and left what was T-Mobile at that point in 2004. I think Marvin started working there shortly after Brian and has been there ever since. He is now a successful supervisor there. Small world, right? Well, Wichita is pretty small. Anyway, that helped a lot to get Brian engaged in the Labor Run project because then he wasn’t the only significant other helping out and attending all the meetings.
Here’s a picture from our last meeting before the event. We were sorting and folding t-shirts; stuffing bags with goodies, flyers and coupons; and doing final preparations.
Misty helped too.
I think this is where we had to go through the envelopes to look for shirts. Misty arrived late and didn’t realize that there were two different types of shirts — regular adult shirts and youth shirts. I think she was grabbing regular small shirts instead of youth sized small shirts so we ran out of small shirts and ended up with extra youth shirts. Oops! We got it all figured out though.
Fast forward to Labor Day, the day of the event…
The Wheels ladies led by Pat Thompson and Crystal Wiley warmed us all up.
Everyone was dancing — runners, walkers, spectators, and volunteers.
Even Natalie’s mom got into it. Check her out in the above photos.
I thought it was a pretty successful event, considering it was our first and we didn’t really know what to expect. These three people (Natalie, Brian, and Rachel) were key to making everything happen. I’m most proud of Brian because volunteer work is normally not his thing and he gave the Labor Run his all. Way to go, baby!
Natalie did a fantastic job of organizing everything and coordinating all of the effort. I can’t imagine how she must have felt because there were times where even I felt overwhelmed and I only had a small part.
This is a picture of another friend (coworker) Tracy. She’s going through the elaborate (but fun) obstacle challenge that Marvin put together.
Tracy and her daughter Kayla had a mother-daughter bonding day… No hugs after getting drenched in fake (but gross nonetheless) baby poop.
Kayla was a good sport. Tracy said she to wanted walk part of the way through the run but Tracy made her keep going. Kids have way more energy than they realize because she was fine. She even had enough in her to do the obstacle challenge; though she popped her water balloon baby and didn’t have the opportunity to complete the course. Tracy completed the obstacle challenge course without killing her water baby. As can be expected. She is a mom and has tons of experience. LOL.
After seeing how the obstacle challenge works, some people opted to wear trash bags. Smart move. I had a lot of fun watching everyone go through.
We were at Sedgwick County Park from about 6 to 11 o’clock that morning, but it went by pretty quickly. I actually felt rushed in the morning because everyone was starting to show up and we weren’t quite ready. It was a successful event, but it wasn’t perfect. We learned a lot. Next year it will get even better. Mark your calendars!