Saturday, April 18, 2009 marked the date for the 5th Annual Walk Your Talk Walk to raise money and awareness of the needs of children in the foster care system. California Baptist University hosted the event, which drew more than 700 people to the campus in Riverside. Many CBU students participated in the event, and the Office of Spiritual Life and Conferences and Events staff provided organizational assistance.
More than $26,000 was raised to benefit local programs that focus on meeting the needs of children in the local foster system and children who at age 18 “age out” of the system and become ineligible for care. The walk at CBU followed the “Lancer Loop,” a two-mile walk around the perimeter of the University’s property. CBU President Ronald L. Ellis was on hand to welcome the walkers and exhibitors, as was Ron Loveridge, the Mayor of Riverside, and Chris MacArthur, City Councilman for Ward 5 within which CBU is located.
The walk for foster children began five years ago when founder Jaci Hasemeyer felt like churches and the community were letting these children down. Many children remain in the foster care system when homes could and should be available for adoption, Hasemeyer says. Hasemeyer along with her husband, Eric, an adjunct professor at CBU, have seven adopted children, who were formerly foster children.
“Our job as adults in our community is to rescue and help these children who are in the foster system due to no fault of their own,” Hasemeyer said. Proceeds from the walk will go to Camp Alandale, a faith-based summer camp located in the nearby mountains that ministers to abused and neglected children ages 9 to 18.