BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Area Council Boy Scouts of America held a virtual 5k over the weekend, raising thousands of dollars for essential workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We shot a little commercial--promo commercial--put that out on Facebook, let it circulate and next thing you know we were getting registrations by the 10's, 20's," said Casey Snyder, who is a field director at the Baltimore Area Council Boy Scouts of America. “We didn’t think it would get the traction it did.”
Snyder said the organization was expecting only about a couple hundred people to participate. He said they encouraged people to run on their treadmill at home or outside in their neighborhood because of social distancing restrictions.
He said by the time the race began on Saturday, more than 800 people had signed up. They were able to raise $4,000.
“It’s absolutely fantastic that we are able to say thank you to our frontlines," he added.
Originally, the goal was to raise a few hundred dollars to provide meals for one nursing shift at an area hospital. The extra money will likely allow them to donate meals to healthcare workers at different hospitals and first responders as well.
"Our real plan with this donation is try to recognize our frontline workers whether it be with meals, thank you cards, and gift baskets...because we made so many dollars we think we might able to spread the love a little bit further than what we originally intended," he said.
Connor Cunnane, 16, who is a life scout with the Baltimore Area Council Boy Scouts of America, says he also decided to run the 5k
Cunnane said it was special being a part of something where he could make a difference.
“I feel very happy for taking part in something that helps raise money for healthcare workers and for people on the frontlines," Cunnane said.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced the organization to shift all of their operations online. Scouts are getting most of their programs virtually.
Snyder says this was a great way to be able to teach them a lesson about community service and giving back. He says he can't think of anyone more deserving than those on the frontlines in the battle against the virus.
“This is something that is going to give a direct thank you. We are going to be able to see someone's face light up," he said.