Thursday, October 8, 2009

Laps for Little Ones

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

There is a place in Tulsa, Oklahoma where lights shine bright, good works are a way of business, and God is glorified every day. That place is The Little Light House, a Christian Developmental Center that has been providing highly specialized educational and therapeutic services to children with special needs since 1972.

For those of you who know my family, you are aware of how much The Little Light House has always been a part of our lives. My mom began working there as the grants and fundraising coordinator before I was born. In fact, that is where she met my dad while he was doing some carpentry work on the building. A few years later, my parents were introduced to a little boy named Daniel, a student at The Little Light House, who became my brother when my parents took a step of faith and adopted him. As kids, we spent a lot of summers hanging out at The Little Light House and when I was old enough, I even got the chance to volunteer in the various special needs classes. While in college, I worked in the administrative offices and even got engaged during the time I worked there.

I have so many wonderful memories from The Little Light House that span over the course of my entire life. Some of the best memories though are from an annual fundraising event called Laps for Little Ones. It is basically a one hour jog-a-thon where runners raise support for The Little Light House. I have run around that track probably a couple hundred times over the years and spent countless hours cheering other runners on from the sidelines during the years I didn't run. I have vivid memories of jogging around the track as the hour came to an end and thinking "I just can't go any further". But then I'd go around the turn where many of the Light House students would be cheering on the runners from their wheelchairs or from behind a walker and would get an extra burst of energy to get in that one last lap to earn every last dollar I could for those kids.

Since I moved to Pennsylvania 6 years ago, I haven't been able to participate as a runner or cheerleader at this amazing event. For me, it is like missing a family holiday like Thanksgiving or Easter. But though I can't be there in person, I am still able to take part in Laps by sponsoring one of my siblings as they run in the event. On October 24, 2009 my brother, Ethan, my sister Krystal and her husband, Sean, and my sister Lindsay will all be participating as runners. Lindsay, who is now on staff as a classroom associate, is running for one of her students, Josiah.

This year, The Little Light House has made a leap into the 21st century and set up websites to help each runner to raise their support. Below are links to each of my sibling's support pages. I would greatly appreciate it if you would take the time to check out The Little Light House website and if you are touched at all by their ministry, please consider supporting my family as they support the wonderful kids of The Little Light House.

For more information on The Little Light House click here.

The O'Nan Family support page (Sean & Krystal)

Ethan's support page

Lindsay's support page

Me with Co-founder Marcia Mitchell. I think I was a Freshman in high school here.
My mom and I. Here I was a sophomore at ORU.


Grammy Jean said...

Wow, this really touched my heart, you have some amazing memories, thanks for much for sharing about the LLH in your blog. We will miss you this year as we are all out there raising funds for the little ones!

Christina said...

Hey Kesh! I just nominated you for an award!

Katie said...

I'm not sure if its the hormones but this had me in tears...

I love the old school pictures of you! so cute.

Lyr said...

Love that picture of you Kesh... LOVE IT!