VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A local foundation is getting ready to host its 6th Annual White House to White House relay to bring awareness to the homeless and hunger crisis.
The relay, which starts in Washington D.C. and ends in Virginia Beach, is inspired by Jim White who operates the LIFT Fitness Foundation. White’s goal is to bring attention to homelessness so that it is not swept under the rug.
12 years ago, Jim White was conducting fitness classes on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk when homeless people started joining.
“So, we were teaching classes, the homeless were jumping in and doing jumping jacks on the Boardwalk with us and I thought you know what?” White said.
This sparked White’s new challenge, which was to start a new ministry to get the homeless in shape and in the workforce.
“A lot of them are overweight, have diabetes, so I decided to create an exercise nutrition program for the homeless to help them build self-confidence, self-worth, and get them back in the worked force,” White said.
Then 7 years ago, as a fundraiser, White got two RVs, 12 runners and started running 220 miles to the White House in Washington D.C.
Now as the LIFT Fitness Foundation gets ready to host another relay, its mission remains the same. The relay now begins in Washington D.C. by delivering 700 pairs of shoes to one of the oldest Union Missions in the country which is a half block from the U.S. Capitol.
White says homeless people walk 10-20,000 steps a day, and they need to replace worn out tennis shoes,
Once the donations are dropped off, the relay team then begins their run home to Virginia Beach.
The run begins Saturday, November 12 and will end on Sunday, November 13 around 4:30 p.m. at Ballyhoos Restaurant off Great Neck Road. So far, The LIFT Fitness Foundation has raised $28,000.
To learn more about the LIFT Fitness Foundation or where to make a donation, click here.