PCHAS Staff Run for a reason!

Houston Marathon Laura

Ten years. 16,500 miles. 40 pairs of shoes. Red blisters, blue toenails and too much sweat.

I ran my first race in middle school, chasing that swinging brown braid on the girl running in front of me; never quite close enough to catch up; never quite meeting that goal. My senior year of high school I began to track my mileage and time my runs.
As time went on, the need to count every second and mile grew faint as I realized running for me was as much for fitness as it was therapeutic. A world of rhythm driven by my own breath; a deep connection to the world around me; a place where I feel closest to God.

I like to think that I am at my best during my runs—perhaps not always physically, but in the way that only a truly meditative place wakens the inner meaning of my life; a place that breathes truth into famed marathoner, Amby Burfoot’s, “As we run, we become.”
On January 18th of this year, I ran the Houston half-marathon (13.1 miles), in part because of my love of the sport, but even more for the cause I ran to support. I have worked at Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services (PCHAS) for two years now, and have found a similar renewed spirit, like what I’ve found running, in working here.

“As we run, we become.”
– Amby Burfoot


PCHAS serves more than 4,200 at-risk children and families in Texas and Louisiana each year. The children and families we serve often come from backgrounds of abuse, neglect and poverty. Though its roots are Presbyterian, PCHAS serves those in need from all backgrounds. I am proud of that and proud of all that PCHAS stands for.
I could spend hours (and pages) sharing stories of how I have seen donations change the lives of children and families. Stories like the child who was 10 years old and weighed 48 pounds when brought to our care. In just a few short months, he doubled his weight and, with improved nutrition, grew six inches taller!
This wasn’t just a race for me. It was a chance to finally catch up to that swinging brown braid ahead of me, finishing a race that had far greater meaning. I raised more than $1,500 for PCHAS by running in the marathon. Collectively, PCHAS raised more than $40,000. Our goal was to raise $66,687, the number of children who were victims of abuse last year.

My colleague Jana Hobbs, Senior Development Officer, also ran the half-marathon with me. We are so proud of our efforts.When you give to something greater, I hope you too find that as you give, you become.

Thank you to all those who donate to PCHAS!