Catholic Charities combines with sports commission to help refugees

The Louisville Sports Commission is again collaborating with the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Catholic Charities to help collect winter items for nearly a thousand newly arrived refugees.

According to a news release from both organizations, runners and walkers in the Louisville Sports Commission’s Half Marathon on Nov. 10, are being asked to donate winter coats and blankets, as well as other winter items such as hats, gloves and scarves. The Clothing and blankets should be new or gently used, the release said, and are needed for all ages and both sexes, although there is an increased need for men’s coats.

Participants can drop off items at either Swag’s Sports Shoes locations: 7415 Old Third St. Road or 9407 Westport Road in Westport Plaza now through Nov. 10. Items can also be dropped off Nov. 10 at the start of the race on Main Street in front of the KFC Yum! Center, and at the post-race party on the Belvedere.

In addition to collecting items at Swag’s Sports Shoes, Catholic Charities will be at Slugger Field on Nov. 8 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Nov. 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to accept donations.

“Each year we serve a growing number of clients who come (to Louisville) from around the globe,” said Chris Clements, community resource developer for Catholic Charities.

“A large number of these individuals are locating to Louisville from tropical or desert environments,” he noted. “In nearly all cases, this coming winter will be our clients’ first experience with cold weather.”

Karl Schmitt, executive director of the Louisville Sports Commission, said that last year’s partnership with Catholic Charities left the sports commission staff “gratified (at) how our runners and walkers wholeheartedly embraced this initiative.”

The half marathon, presented by HumanaVitality, begins at 8:30 a.m. at the KFC Yum! Center and includes a one-mile trek through Cave Hill Cemetery immediately following the Scenic Loop in Cherokee Park, the release said.

The race will finish on Main St. in front of the Belvedere. Registration is $75 through Nov. 9.

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