By Christopher Blackburn and Graham Trenda
Think about your morning routine. In the span of an hour or two, you make countless choices before you even get out the door: “What time should I get up? Should I work out this morning or after work? Breakfast at home or on the way to the office? One shot or two in my espresso?”
It’s so easy to get caught up in the routine that we forget the incredible freedom to choose, well, whatever we want.
In India, there are women who aren’t so fortunate. They face a myriad of factors that rise against them, and work to keep them in a system of modern-day slavery. These factors include violence, poverty, limited education, corruption, and gender bias. Some of these women are forced into slavery. Some believe there’s nothing else for them. This is a lie that may seem obvious to you and me, but for some—the odds stacked against them seem insurmountable.
As easy as it is for them to believe the lie that there isn’t freedom from their slavery, it can be just as easy for us to believe the lie that we can’t do anything to stop it.
Meet the Aruna Project, a Fair-Trade Federation certified US non-profit that offers sustained freedom and employment to previously enslaved women in Mumbai, India. Aruna’s sole mission is to free, empower, and employ these women to bring them strength and hope for a bright future. In fact, the word ‘aruna’ in Hindi means “bright morning sun.” What Aruna offers these women is a fresh start, like the sun coming up on a new day.
Not only does the Aruna project work to set these women free, but they provide holistic care in a safe, loving environment, where they receive counseling, job training, and a sense of renewed self-worth.
The Aruna project works by raising awareness and funds here in the US by hosting 5k runs across the country. 100% of a runner’s registration fee goes directly to freeing, empowering, and employing a woman freed from slavery in India. Local businesses and individuals sponsor the race, thereby offsetting the cost to put the race together. Runners are also encouraged to fundraise for the race, with all funds raised going to help these women in need.
Once freed, the women are taught valuable trade skills and employed making products to be sold in the United States. These products include totes, backpacks, duffel bags, and head bands. Again, the sale of these products goes towards the cause of freeing, empowering, and employing more women. One of these hand-crafted bags is given to each runner on race day--a powerful token of connection that solidifies in runner’s and walker’s hearts and minds that this 5k is much bigger, and has far more impact, than they could’ve imagined.
Run or walk with us!
TMS Solutions is proud to sponsor the inaugural Montrose Aruna Run/Walk 5k in Cerise Park, Montrose, CO on May 11th at 8 am. Here at TMS Solutions, we strive to help our patients gain the hope and freedom from their depression, empowering them to live life to the fullest!
We invite you to join us as we each run for a woman by name who is still trapped in slavery in India. Together we can let them know, that even though we’re half a world away, they’re not alone, that we believe in them. We want them to know they are worth rescuing and being set free to live a life of hope and freedom.
Imagine…waking up in a new life. A day where you get to choose how your day goes. Imagine the empowerment that must bring!
Each race participant will receive an athletic drawstring backpack made by free Aruna Artisans, as well as a t-shirt. Each finisher will also receive a 2019 race medal. Sign up early to be guaranteed a t-shirt.
Registration fees: 100% goes to free, empower, and employ!
Adults - $25
Kids 5-12 - $15
Kids Under 5 - Free (no t-shirt)
To register, click this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/montrose-aruna-runwalk-2019-registration-51325927230
To learn more about Aruna, or to shop their hand-made products, visit https://arunaproject.com/
Still have questions? Contact Race Director Graham Trenda at email@example.com