USA Cares hosting virtual 5K to help veterans during coronavirus pandemic

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While many fundraisers and events have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are still ways you can give back. USA Cares is hosting its annual 5K, but it’s going virtual this year.

You can complete the “Keep Your Distance” 5K on your own time, wherever you want. Since it’s virtual, you can walk or run the 3.1 miles in your neighborhood, on your treadmill or just around your house – as long as you’re still practicing social distancing. The money raised will help veterans, especially those most at-risk during the pandemic.

“We are all kind of bound together in this crazy social distancing, isolation climate, but we’re all still coming together in a way to help others,” said Aubrey Gonzalez, communications manager for USA Cares.

Gonzales said the coronavirus pandemic is hitting veterans hard. They are dealing with the negative effects of social distancing and isolation, which can often lead to depression, anxiety or even suicide. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, about 17 veterans die by suicide every day.

USA Cares wants to make sure those who are more vulnerable know they are not forgotten, so they’re getting creative with this year’s 5K to make sure these veterans are still getting the help they need.

“Every dollar counts. It doesn’t matter how small the donation is. Every time someone donates a dollar, five dollars, that adds up so quickly,” Gonzales said.

How do you complete a virtual 5K? Sign up online and track your steps. Once you sign up, you have two weeks to complete the 3.1 miles and submit your stats so you can get your medal and bragging rights.

“I honestly don’t think there’s any amount of ‘thank you’ we can say, so the least we can do is make sure these individuals are taken care of when they need it most,” Gonzales said.

The last day to sign up for the “Keep Your Distance Virtual 5K” is April 30. The race is $28 for adults and $14 for children. Every participant will receive a medal and certificate of completion. You can sign up online here.

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