Students, community members support Kent area children with each step they take

Alison Lucci

Walk for Children celebrates 14th year

Betsy Justice, head of Love Light Inc., enjoys the company of other walkers yesterday afternoon as they start their fundraiser walk to the Kent Recreation Center. The walk was put together to raise money for summer programs for underprivileged children in

Credit: DKS Editors

Yesterday’s damp weather didn’t stop Sabina Uzajova from participating in the 14th annual Walk for the Children, along with others who walked around campus and downtown.

“I got interested in the walk because I’d never done anything like this before. In Kyrgyzstan, I’ve done community outreach, but this was my first time fundraising in America so I was really excited,” said Uzajova, a graduate student from Kyrgyzstan.

LoveLight, Inc. and the Kent Interhall Council sponsored the 10K (6.2-mile) Walk for the Children. Participants gathered pledges from family and friends. The pledge money will benefit children in the Kent area.

Katie Reed, senior fashion merchandising major, was an Honors College organizer for the walk. Reed said past walks have brought in about $1,000. Though the pledge sheets have not been collected yet, the organization hopes to surpass that amount.

Betsy Justice, assistant professor in the College of Education, founded LoveLight, Inc. in 1995. Each summer, the organization provides lunches and activities to children in low-income areas during an eight-week period.

“LoveLight promotes positive lifestyles,” Justice said. “We help people move toward achieving their potential.”

The Ohio Department of Education helps fund the lunch program, but LoveLight, Inc. is dependent on volunteers and donations, Justice said. The volunteers prepare and deliver the food in addition to planning art projects, sports and games for the children.

“The activities vary depending on the talents and interests of the kids and volunteers,” Justice said. “The lunches are wonderful for the children in the community, and it gives students the opportunity for community service.”

For Uzajova, the walk was a way for her to connect with the organization since she won’t be in Kent this summer to volunteer.

“It feels really great,” Uzajova said. “It feels like I’ve done something worthwhile.”

For additional information about LoveLight, Inc., contact Justice at 330-673-5830 or [email protected]. The organization always welcomes donations and volunteers, Justice said.

Contact Honors College and international affairs reporter Alison Lucci at [email protected].