Yale students active with the HAVEN Free Clinic creatively adapted their practices when COVID-19 began impacting New Haven to ensure they safely could continue to serve their patients. Similarly, the students have resourcefully altered their annual fundraiser— the ¡ANDA! 5K— to ensure they can continue to fund HAVEN’s operations. The 5K typically raises about 70% of the clinic’s operating budget.
On Sunday, October 11, 2020, the seventh annual 5K event will take place virtually.
As the 5K website states, “this year may be a little different but our goal and promise remain the same: 100% of proceeds going towards patient care. Learn how you can be a part of this great cause and how the virtual event will feature highlights from a traditional event, but in a socially-distant and responsible way.”
For 14 years, HAVEN has filled a critical gap in the health care landscape by providing primary care, reproductive health care, social services, and education to uninsured adults in the New Haven Community, for free. More than 250 students from the Yale Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health collaborate in teams to support all aspects of patients’ wellness. Additionally, students from Yale College and Law School play active roles in HAVEN.
The students reflect their hopes for the event on the 5K website. “We are dedicated to the community of New Haven and all proceeds raised from the 5K will enable us to provide quality, comprehensive health care free-of-charge to underserved adults living in this neighborhood. With your support, we hope to make a difference in New Haven, while at the same time, helping our student volunteers to understand the importance and value of providing primary care in a community health setting.”
The website describes the impact of race registration fees and donations on HAVEN’s patients, who numbered almost 600 last year: $25 supports a blood test; $50 a hepatitis B vaccine; $165 a comprehensive patient visit; and $439 supports the care of one HAVEN patient for a year. Last year patients cumulatively had more the 2,400 appointments at HAVEN, reflecting the scale of the need.
If people are not able to run or walk on October 11, the organizers hope they will volunteer to help coordinate the event, support the fundraising efforts of an individual or team that is participating, or simply donate to HAVEN.
Although the race is virtual, there is a scheduled timeframe between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm (ET), creating a sense of unity among the runners and walkers. The Course Logistics page on the website encourages participants, “whether you are nearby or joining us from afar,” to find a safe place to run or walk, suggesting exploring local parks, trails, or neighborhood routes.
Reflecting the focus on public health, the organizers provide information about how to participate safely from a COVID-19 perspective, from reminding people to wear a breathable mask, to providing tips on trail safety, such as practicing social distancing.
While people will be participating separately, social media will help connect them. Participants are encouraged to share videos and photos of themselves on the HAVEN Free Clinic Facebook page or on Instagram using #HAVEN5K. And it is suggested to bring “your phone to capture your post run selfie!” People who register by September 18 can receive a t-shirt and mask in advance of the event, enhancing the comradery displayed on their social media posts.
A standard registration is $25. It is $40 to also order a t-shirt, and $45 for a t-shirt and a HAVEN mask. HAVEN patients, or individuals under 18, participate for free.