At the recent St. Jude Rock ‘n Roll Marathon, several Belmont students ran in the race. But for a specific group of these students, their running was fueled by a mission to help others. A 12-person Belmont team ran in conjunction with Team World Vision Nashville and raised a total of over $12,000 for the non-profit World Vision to provide clean drinking water for about 250 people in need.
Captain of the Belmont team is senior faith and social justice major Chloe Kasten who became involved with the organization after hearing Bailey McBroom, head of Team World Vision (TWV) Nashville, speak in Chapel. McBroom was encouraging students to run a half-marathon while raising money for clean water for people in Africa.
“At the end of Bailey’s spiel, she said, ‘All you have to do is say yes.’ Without even thinking about the fact that I had never ran more than a mile or two before, I looked over to my friend Bailey Chan, who was sitting with me, and I said, ‘Let’s do it!’,” said Kasten. “We ran a half marathon that November with our friend Elisabeth Wiede. Collectively, we raised enough money to provide 97 kids with clean water for the rest of their lives.”
After being inspired by World Vision, Kasten decided to bring the organization to Belmont on a larger scale. She created a team of 11 of her peers to train together and run half-marathons to continue to raise money for the organization. As team captain, Kasten keeps the team motivated and focused on the mission of TWV.
“Being team captain looks like waking up early on Saturday morning and making breakfast for your team to eat after our long Saturday runs. It looks like staying in contact and communication with your team because asking people for money is hard,” Kasten added. “I just tried to keep my team encouraged and to keep their eyes on the purpose of what we’re doing… We’re moving our feet for vulnerable children so that they can spend less time walking to dirty water and more time going to school and just being kids.”
Kasten continues to be inspired by World Vision’s mission and will be working with Team World Vision this summer to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Her goal is to raise enough funds to support 20 children with the things they need to continue their education.
World Vision works to empower communities by tackling causes of injustice and poverty. Every 10 seconds, World Vision provides a new person with clean water for life.
“Chloe has been such an amazing leader within this organization,” said McBroom. “She encouraged and supported the team so well and this ministry is better because she is a part of it. We are so excited for the future of the Belmont team.”