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Stepping Up to Make a Difference

(This article was written by Lisa Campos and appeared in the May 2024 issue of Explore Harlingen Magazine.)

Organizations participating in the inaugural United We Run 5K. Photo courtesy of Lisa Campos.

The United Way of Northern Cameron County is collaborating with three local nonprofit organizations for a first of its kind 5K Run/Walk, “United We Run.”

Victor Rivera, executive director of Loaves & Fishes of the RGV, explained the motivation for creating an event like this. “Uniting for a purpose greater than ourselves, the United We Run 5K represents a collaborative effort among Loaves & Fishes, the Literacy Center of Harlingen, the Family Crisis Center, and the United Way of Northern Cameron County. With every stride, we're not just racing towards the finish line; we're racing towards positive change in our community,” Rivera said.

Executive directors of the Family Crisis Center, Loaves & Fishes, and the Literacy Center of Harlingen. Photo courtesy of Lisa Campos.

Marina Preston, executive director of The Literacy Center of Harlingen, continued, "In recent years, Harlingen has become increasingly interested in the health of its community members. This 5K is special in that we can not only participate to benefit our own wellbeing, but also aid those requiring the most assistance by addressing some basic needs. Loaves and Fishes provides sustenance through their dining hall, help with job skills, medical attention, and more. The Literacy Center of Harlingen gives adults access to basic education for them to maintain their educational health and mental growth. The Family Crisis Center provides shelter and access to resources to some of our most vulnerable citizens. Along with the United Way of Northern Cameron County, we truly hope to see this 5K become an annual event to continue to be able to make an impact.”

To register, complete the form at Registration fees are $25 for early bird registrants and $30 the day of the event. Those who register by May 4 will receive a shirt. Participants will receive finisher medals.

The race will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at McKelvey Park, 1325 S. 77 Sunshine Strip. The 5K will begin at 7:30 am and end at approximately 10:30 am.

For more information about each nonprofit, visit,,, and

Rivera urges the community to attend this inaugural 5K: “Join us in this meaningful journey as we run together, making a difference for those who need it most.”


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