Utah charity to 'run for goats' for Jordan refugees

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LEHI — Stephanie Gardner and her brother Michael started the Run 4 Refugees 5k race a year ago out of a desire to help families in need without necessarily being able to travel overseas.

"How could we not do something," Stephanie Gardner said. "Many of these refugees, 50 percent or more are children. And this is a huge crisis that we just don't see here."

This year, however, they're teaming up with someone who has seen the refugee camps in several countries. Hayley Smith, a BYU graduate and founder of Lifting Hands International spoke with KSL via skype while on her way to northern Jordan Tuesday.

"This refugee crisis is huge," Smith said. "It's massive. It's changing our world."

And the fundraiser may be different than most for refugees. The focus will be to supply 30 families in northern Jordan with two goats each. Smith explained that the goats can supply milk, cheese and food for the families, which is a big help.

"The families that have gotten the goats, they feel like their lives have been transformed," she said.

The Run 4 Refugees 5k will be held at the track at Skyridge High School in Lehi on Saturday at 8 a.m. Organizers expect hundreds of runners.

"If we were to go there for a day, and we got to walk through and see how they live, there's no way we could just sit here and do nothing," Gardner said.


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