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Lead Collective is so excited to host

our 1st annual 5K fundraiser!

Did You Know?
Housing costs are increasing at a much faster rate than wages, so housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable for families who don't own their homes.
Healthy groceries are becoming more and more unaffordable as well - the average grocery budget for a family of four is $725/month, while families who are food insecure, receiving SNAP benefits, only receive $267/month on average (a net difference of -$457.00).
Across the entire state of South Carolina, high transportation costs mean that an individual with an income at the federal poverty level spent an average 73% of their income on transportation and 112% for both housing and transportation in 2019. 

The mission of the Strides for Mercy 5k is to raise awareness about the complex challenges of poverty, and raise funds to support families as they work to overcome these challenges.

Poverty is such a complex issue, we often describe it as a web. It's easy to fall into, but difficult to escape. We may be tempted to believe the overly simplistic narrative that says poverty is the result of a poor choice, or series of poor choices. Life is never that simple - and poverty certainly is not. Like a web, poverty entangles someone through a series of environmental, social, and personal factors - and these factors are interconnected, so dealing with just one doesn't solve the problem. The mental and emotional stress this puts on families is staggering. Chronic stress associated with living in poverty has been shown to adversely affect children’s concentration and memory which may impact their ability to learn. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that in 2008, the dropout rate of students living in low-income families was about 4.5x greater than the rate of children from higher-income families (8.7 percent versus 2.0 percent). Beyond just being a complicated issue, poverty is a justice issue as well. Poverty's web has a grossly disproportionate effect on families of color in the U.S. 

Did you know that in 2019 71% of families living in poverty were families of color? In 2018, African American residents in South Carolina represented 43% of the population in poverty — yet only 27% of the state’s population. These statistics are linked to a long history of systemic racism, and structural injustice. The sins of our country's past continue to haunt us today. One of the clearest marks of American racism, is American poverty. 


We want to empathize with those struggling to climb out of poverty, and promote clear pathways to pursue justice and mercy on their behalf. We hope you’ll mark your calendars for this event, as we work together to end poverty, and create a more just future for our neighbors.