Sentinel Progress

Running for a cause

EASLEY — United Christian Ministries is gearing up for its annual 5K to help provide needed support for area families this winter’s Feet For Heat.

“People tend to think of us as a food bank — and we are — but there’s so much more that we do,” said Teresa Nash, executive director for UCM.

In addition to providing over 35,000 meals last year, the organization also helps out with clothing, rent, nutritional support for cancer patients, provides box fans in the Summer months and gives financial assistance with utility bills, said Nash.

In 2016 alone, UCM’s utility bill assistance for families exceeded $62,000.

“Feet For Heat is our main fundraiser of the year, we rely on it to be able to continue the work we do,” Nash explained. “Turnout has always been very encouraging, the community support has been amazing.”

Nash said expenses for UCM always increase in the winter, owing mostly to increased requests for utility assistance. Fundraisers like Feet For Heat help the organization to make ends meet.

“We’ll have people at the race who are serious runners and then we’ll have people there who aren’t athletes at all, they just want to help,” she said. “As for me, I say all are welcome!”

The event takes place Oct. 14 at 9 a.m. in Old Market Square in downtown Easley.

But if a 5K sounds like too much, Nash says not to fret, there’s a one-mile “fun run” as well.

“Not everyone’s a runner. We set up the 5K to accommodate those serious about it, but you can walk it — plenty of people do,” she said. “Or, you can come out and enjoy a pretty day with us and just take a stroll for a good cause.”

Awards will be given for the winners of their age groups and t-shirts are provided for participants who pre-register by Sept. 30.

To register for Feet For Heat visit

Busy that day but still want to help? Donations for UCM can also be made online at their website.

To register for Feet For Heat visit register for Feet For Heat visit Courtesy photo

By Kasie Strickland

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.