The Aruna Project's annual Aruna Run is back on Labor Day this year! Run or walk Sept. 4 at Smale Riverfront Park for a fun event that supports this local non-profit organization that focuses on international human rights and providing trafficked women lifelong freedom with sustainable employment. Meyer Brothers & Sons, a local family-owned residential design and construction business, is this year's title sponsor.
"The catalyst for this freedom process is our Aruna Run Race Series, a network of 5k races across the country," explains Ryan Berg, Co-Founder and CEO of the Aruna Project. "Race participants run or walk for a trafficked woman by name to help bring and sustain freedom to her and women like her. This impact is powerful as 100% of participant registration fees and donations go to the cause, with a majority of the money flowing into our training centers in areas of high sexual exploitation in South Asia."
Now in its 14th year, the Cincinnati Aruna Run on Sept. 4 is the largest of Aruna's races with more than 1,200 people from the Tri-State participating. The run starts and ends at Smale Riverfront Park, with 10k, 5k, 1-mile, and elite 1-mile races. According to Cincinnati Aruna Run Director Sarah Prudhomme, the last seven years of the run has raised $566,000, helping to free more than 120 women.
Those who participate in this year’s event will receive run swag including a reversible carryall bag, handmade by Aruna Artisans freed in part thanks to funds raised in previous Aruna Runs. They will also enjoy music by DJ Khalil of Q102 and enjoy food and drinks provided by Skyline, LaRosa’s, Smoothie King, Pahhni Water and Biggby Coffee.
Entry fees for the event range from $25-$45, and 100% goes to free, employ, and empower women. The Aruna Project helps trafficked women find freedom and employs them through Aruna’s Freedom Business. “They are provided a living wage, transitional housing, retirement savings, healthcare, and counseling so that they can begin the healing process and start building a foundation for their future,” adds Berg.
The women are also encouraged in their skill set as they train to produce a line of athleisure accessories that are sold in Aruna Project’s online store. From the store, all proceeds of sold products funds the holistic care each artisan receives.