If 17-year-old Austin Hunter and Lucca Ramone are any indication of the characteristics their generation will offer to the world, then our future is looking bright!
Arrive Five co-organizers, Austin and Lucca show that Generation Z is enterprising, compassionate and resilient.
This summer, as the two young men prepare for their senior year at Minnetonka High School, Austin and Lucca have created and organized a 5-day charity run/walk challenge called Arrive Five, with all of the proceeds benefiting Arrive Ministries.
“The goal of this challenge is to spread accurate information about who refugees are and how they contribute positively to our communities to combat xenophobia,” said Lucca.
The cause of refugees is close to the hearts of Lucca and Austin; both of their churches have partnered with refugee aid organizations in the past. Currently, Austin’s family is a part of a team at Mercy Hill Church through Arrive Ministries that is walking alongside an asylum-seeking family from Côte d’Ivoire.
When people talk about refugees, there is a lot of fear of the unknown.
“Through this relationship I became more aware of how the U.S. Government has been treating refugees and the how long the asylum seeking process takes in the U.S.,” said Austin.
“When people talk about refugees, there is a lot of fear of the unknown. We want to spread more knowledge of who qualifies as a refugee*. People are refugees and seeking asylum because they absolutely have to be. We need to help these people. It’s disheartening when it seems there is opposition in our community,” said Lucca.
The original plan was for an in-person race, but due to COVID the duo has changed it to a virtual challenge.
We hope to get more engagement with a virtual challenge than a normal one-day event.
“It’s been interesting changing it from an in-person race to a virtual mileage challenge. We hope to get more engagement with a virtual challenge than a normal one-day event,” said Austin.
“The virtual option gives us an opportunity to provide more information to a wider audience. People can do it from anywhere in the world,” said Lucca.
With their current and former Minnetonka cross-country teammates, and many Arrive Ministries staff and volunteers participating, Austin and Lucca are well on their way to reaching their goal of 200 participants.
Arrive Five happens over the 5-day span from Sept. 22-26, 2020. Each day of the challenge participants will be sent an email with statistics about refugees, and a form to fill-in their miles for the day.
There are 7-tiers of mileage levels; the more miles you log, the more drawings you enter to win free running gear. Register at arrivefive.com.
Who is a refugee?
*According the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission on Refugees), they must be/experience:
- Outside the country of nationality or habitual residence
- Well-founded fear
- Persecution “for reason” of one or more of the five grounds:
- Membership of a particular social group
- Political opinion