Nighttime 5K to help Wyandotte County families in need - KCTV5

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Nighttime 5K to help Wyandotte County families in need

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KCTV5's tent at Sporting Park. KCTV5's tent at Sporting Park.
KCTV5's team for the Cross-Lines Black Out for Lights On nighttime 5K run KCTV5's team for the Cross-Lines Black Out for Lights On nighttime 5K run
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

A non-profit organization is forced to turn away hundreds of families in need every month because funding can't keep up with the growing number of people who need emergency utility assistance.

KCTV5 is the official media sponsor for Cross-Lines Black Out for Lights On nighttime 5K run at Sporting Park.

This is one of the few 5Ks that will be held at night. The idea is symbolic. They want runners to experience darkness to bring a ray of hope to families in need.

"A lot of times, you have to put your pride aside and do whatever it takes to look out for your family. I do have small children," Timmasha Clanton said.

In 2008, Clanton came to Cross-Lines for help. The nonprofit helped keep the lights on in her home.

Her family wasn't forced to bear a heat wave without air conditioning. The loss of utilities can cause turmoil in many families. Emergency assistance can prevent the separation of a family.

"To make sure that families stay together in their home. They aren't worried about getting their lights shut off, getting evicted, where will they go, where will the kids go," Cross-Lines Director of Emergency Services Susila Jones said.

Clanton said when she first came for help, she didn't expect for the outcome to be what it was.

The former client became a volunteer. For the last five years, Clanton has either worked or volunteered at Cross-Lines to help others in need.

"People are just still struggling to keep their lights on. That can happen because they've lost their jobs, their hours have been reduced, there has been an illness in the family and those needs continue to increase," Jones said.

Jones said that need has increased by 30 percent this year.

"On a typical week, we unfortunately have to turn away about 100 people we are able to help about 20 people," Jones said.

Jones hopes the Black Out for Lights On 5K will raise funds they need to meet Wyandotte County's need.

"Unfortunately, our funds just can't keep up with that need," Jones said.

If you want to get out and get active for a good cause, race registration begins at 8 p.m. Friday at Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS.

The event begins at 9 p.m.

The race costs $35 for adults and $15 for anyone under 15. Click here for more information.

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