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Green Bay's Mash Dash run raises thousands of dollars for a local homeless shelter

Posted at 5:37 PM, Nov 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-25 18:37:26-05

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) - A couple of hundred people in Green Bay started their thanksgiving off on the right foot by running for a good cause. It's a race that has become a tradition for many, and all of the funds raised from the free event are donated to a local homeless shelter.

For twelve years running a Green Bay neighborhood has been hosting their annual Mash Dash, a race where they try to raise as much money and awareness as possible for people living through homelessness in the Green Bay area.

"It's an annual run we've been hosting and we obviously have plenty of people come. It's a free run. All we ask for is donations if you're willing, and it all goes to the Freedom House," says Joshua Helgeson the son of the organizers and longtime participant and volunteer.

Helgeson says he's been getting in on the event ever since he can remember, and while the organization needed to put this on can be stressful around the holiday he's glad he can step up and help make it happen.

"It's a pain obviously, waking up early and setting up all last night. But it's worth it in the long run."

All of the money raised, an estimated three thousand dollars this year, goes to the Freedom House Ministries. The non-profit specializes in providing a 16 room shelter in town, that houses homeless families in the area in an effort to help them get back on their feet.

"They took this time to spend with their neighbors and raise awareness for us. It's awesome," says Jessica Diederich the President of the Freedom House Ministries.

Diederich's non-profit has helped nearly two thousand families over the years with temporary housing needs. She says events like this, where families try to help out their neighbors in need, can make more of a difference than these runners realize.

"Events like this that are grassroots, that raise awareness for the homeless community, but then gather donations for a shelter like ours is really incredible," adds Diederich.

And while a little exercise before a thanksgiving feast isn't a bad idea for anyone on this holiday, it's clear that the runners aren't doing it for their waistline.

"It's thanksgiving so you got to give thanks for what you have and what better way of doing that than giving back to our community," adds Helgeson.

To find out how you can assist the Freedom House Ministries and their mission you can check out this link.