Hundreds come out to support Home of Guiding Hands 6th Annual Randy Jones Run/Walk

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The intent of the walk is dual purpose. One is the fundraising, and equally important is raising awareness to the services of the Home of Guiding Hands. It provides support for around 1,600 people with developmental disabilities in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

The intent of the walk is dual purpose. One is the fundraising, and equally important is raising awareness to the services of the Home of Guiding Hands. It provides support for around 1,600 people with developmental disabilities in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

The Home of Guiding Hands 6th annual Randy Jones Run/Walk for Independence brought more than 400 racers, vendors and volunteers to De Anza Cove on Feb. 6. HGH reached its goal in raising $40,000, to help meet its needs in providing care to their clients with its many programs.

“The fundraising aspect of this is really trying to enhance the quality of life for everybody that we serve,” said Mark Klaus, president and CEO of Home of Guiding Hands.

Klaus said State funding is pretty much non-existent and been so for years. The run was an opportunity for HGH to provide those enhancements for those that it supports.

“The successes really enforce why we are here,” he said. “HGH has been around for 50 years. The bottom line is that our funding is inadequate. But when we have events like this, we see successes like Taylor (Wiesner) and many, many others, and that’s why I’ve been doing what I’m doing for the last 35 years.”

He said it is something special to be associated with Randy Jones, who himself has been allied with HGH for nearly 40 years. Jones reached to HGH a few years ago and said, “What can I do to do a little bit more?”

And the annual run/walk for independence began.

San Diego Padres Hall of Famer Randy Jones said he met HGH while pitching for the Padres and did a little appearance in Lakeside. He said it was a special moment when he saw what HGH did for its clients.

“It was impressive and I never forgot about that,” he said. “Over the years, whatever little thing I could do, going to an event, helping with the golf tournament or whatever it might be, I tried to make my time available. I’ve continued to do this over the years and just watched HGH grow. It is phenomenal what they do for kids and adults. Once I saw that, I was hooked. It gives them a purpose every day to wake up, have something to look forward to and that is really special. Instead of dwelling on the things they can’t do, they dwell on the things that they can do and they excel. To see the smiles of satisfaction on their faces day in and day out is really important.”

An HGH client for five years, Taylor Wiesner said it is important to get as many people involved in the fundraising and fun activities like the 2K and the 8K.

“I think it is fun, beneficial and I enjoy it,” she said. “It’s important because 

they’ve helped me with cooking, cleaning, banking, and finances. They help with anything that I need help with.”

Wiesner said her HGH counselor Laura Krebs is special to her and that she is part of her family.

Krebs said Wiesner lives independently in her apartment in her community. It is her position to help her to live as independently as possible. She works with Wiesner in her apartment to help her meet her personal goals and accomplishes what is needed to keep her living independently.

“From my perspective as the counselor, she’s is charge,” said Krebs. “I just partner with her in providing  her with the support, access to resources, facilitation and meeting her goals in life to live as independently as possible. Being financially stable, having fulfilling relationships, maintaining successful employment in the community, accessing community resources, just like everyone else…with all the highs and lows in life, that life hits all of us with, we’re doing that together.”

HGH works with many different programs and services designed to fit the needs of the individual. Residential and community living, counseling, life planning, respite services, early childhood development and more. For more information on what HGH provides to the community, visit www.guidinghands.org.

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