(KWES) - April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and one group is raising awareness in hopes of helping even more foster children. But it's a tough problem when there are more foster children than foster homes.
"Every child deserves to have a normal happy childhood," said Claire Nelson with the Midland County Child Welfare Board. "Unfortunately, half of the kids in Midland that grew up here that are removed from their families, have to be sent to other places around Texas because there are just not enough foster homes in Midland."
The board is helping foster children at their ninth annual Blue Ribbon Run on Saturday, April 8, 2017. Runners who register receive a shirt, free food, chip timing and raffle entries.
"If you're a very serious runner, you can get a good timing on your run, or if you just like to run, you can come for the fun of it," said Nelson.
But it's more than just running, all proceeds provide resources to foster children in Midland County. This includes emergency clothing, birthday gifts, class rings or that trip to summer camp.
"All those things that growing up, I definitely took for granted," said Nelson. "Seeing these kids, we just want to help as much as we can."
In Midland County, there are about 120 foster children due to abuse, neglect or simply if a family has financial struggles.
"With the recent downturn in oil, there are actually more kids in care when families have economic struggles, they're more likely to face these very difficult struggles," said Nelson.
The Blue Ribbon Run is scheduled at the Midland Memorial Stadium at 8:30 a.m. for the 1K. For the 5K, runners start at 9:00 a.m. The event welcomes all ages where you can not only run but help a child, one step at a time.
If you'd like to register for the run, registration is discounted until Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at noon. You can register on their website here.