© 2021
In touch with the world ... at home on the High Plains
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Keep on Runnin': Kara Word Talks about The Parc's Sole4Soul (This Saturday)


"Everyone knows the old saying, 'You can’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,'" says Kara Word, Director of Development at the Panhandle Adult Rebuilding Center, also known as the PARC). This forms the basis for a fundraising race, Sole4Soul, happening THIS SATURDAY, July 13th at 8 am CT.

It'll benefit The Parc, "a caring, relational place that promotes a sense of self-worth and helps the homeless become aware of their possibilities." There are four different routes that focus on different journeys of those the organization has fostered and influenced—including the founder. 

Tesla's Route is 1.1 miles. Tesla travels this route to visit her trauma counselor a couple days a week. Tesla finds relief in walking this pathway because she is able to heal from past experiences.

Terry's Route is 2 miles. Terry travels this route to help manage his anxiety and depression. Terry has found relief from his anxiety and depression through the environment at the PARC and the resources available at other organizations along his path.

Chris's Route is a 5K. Chris travels this route to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Ellwood Park. Chris also takes this path to visit resources along his path so that he can use computers and apply for jobs. There is a bus stop is along this path because Chris has to take the bus to travel out of downtown Amarillo, much like most of the members of the PARC.

Robert's Route is 4 miles. Robert Lee, the co-founder of the PARC, passed away in December 2017. This path consists of parts of Tesla, Terry, and Chris' routes.

Register today online or in-person at the PARC!

Hear our full interview here: 

More about the Sole4Soul Run: At the PARC we make time to hear these stories and know the person behind those experiences, not just see the homelessness. the PARC is a place where everyone is welcomed, encouraged, and loved. We offer a daily opportunity to engage in a productive environment. Guided activities, lessons, and projects create an atmosphere where everyone can feel valued and respected as individuals. By establishing positive relationships, they begin to remember who they really are and become aware of life’s possibilities.

Those experiencing homelessness are often unseen. Their day-to-day existence becomes one of survival. At the PARC they are given back their name. At the PARC they realize they are capable. At the PARC the cycle of homelessness is broken and a sense of purpose is established. At the PARC lives are changed.

On July 13th we will take that old saying to the streets of downtown Amarillo. the PARC will be hosting an opportunity to run (or walk) the very same routes that a few of our members take every day. You will actually be able to walk a mile in their shoes!

More about The Parc: The vision for the Panhandle Adult Rebuilding Center (the PARC) came from the need to address a gap in care not being provided to the homeless population of Amarillo. While many agencies in Amarillo provide overnight shelter, food and other necessities there was still a gap in helping those experiencing homelessness find their identity and purpose, which are needed to help break the cycle. the PARC was founded to provide a place during the day where those experiencing homelessness could be known and find themselves again; a place of hope.

The PARC was founded by Valerie Gooch and Robert Lee in 2014 as a result of an unlikely friendship. They met while Robert was participating in a recovery program where Valerie was working. They were from different worlds and had each lived a life that was difficult for the other to comprehend. After completing his recovery program, Robert and Valerie began working together to distribute donations and meals to those experiencing homelessness.

Through working together, they became close friends and developed a respect and acceptance for one another in spite of their differences. This friendship created a new perspective through which they began to view life differently.

Together, they developed a vision for a place built on acceptance and hope; that those who came would find their value and gain the confidence to take the steps to move forward to their “next.” This vision is what the PARC was founded on. 

Through all the challenges and unknowns, Robert and Valerie knew God had crafted a path for them to achieve their dreams. the PARC opened its doors for the first time on November 19, 2014. Since then, many have walked through the doors and all have been shown value, acceptance and a safe place where they are called by their name. Hundreds have come through and moved on to their “next” because they regained their identity and self-confidence. In December of 2017, Robert passed away, but he leaves behind a legacy of unlikely friendship, and a call to know and see people for who they really are, and believe in their possibilities even when they can’t.

Jenny Inzerillo joined HPPR in 2015 as the host of High Plains Morning, our live music program that airs weekdays at 9 am to noon CST. Broadcasting from KJJP in beautiful downtown Amarillo, she helps listeners wake up with inspired music from our region and beyond. Tune in for new voices in folk/Americana, deep cuts from your favorite artists, soulful tracks from singer/songwriters across the world, and toe-tapping classics dating as far back as the 1920s. Plus, discover underground greats that just might be your new favorite band.