When Harry Turley’s mother-in-law Deborah became a foster carer with MacKillop, he didn’t realise the impact it would have on him. Harry is a father of three young children, and Deborah was caring for children the same age as his own.
“Having kids of my own, it just hit close to home that a lot of these kids are the same age as my son. It was hard for me and my wife to see that,” Harry says. He wanted to help in some way so decided to raise money for the kids in foster care.
Harry is a keen runner, so he set his eyes on both a physical challenge and a fundraising one, by taking part in the Coburg 24 Hour Track Race on April 13-14.
While some people might see the choice to run around a track for 24 hours as repetitive, Harry has a very different take on it. Running around a track meant his family could be there to cheer him on, and Harry could see them every 400m, rather than every few hours.
As well as seeing his family each time he completes a circuit, Harry was also motivated by his goal to support children in foster care.
“By fundraising, I just hope to provide those extra little things, whether it’s a day out or whatever helps those kids,” says Harry.
While foster care can be the best environment for a child who can’t live with their family, Harry says he wishes children didn’t require foster care in the first place.
My wish for those children is that they’re happy, comfortable and experience the least transitions possible so they have stability.
Harry’s commitment to completing the 24-hour run also sends a message for young people in care.
“Don’t limit yourself to thinking you can’t do something. In any environment you can push through and achieve anything you want. When it comes to running, you might not have any talent, but you can just keep running.
“Some kids don’t have a good start to life, but they shouldn’t let that limit them to wanting to achieve something.”
Harry exceeded his own expectations by running an impressive 109km (272 laps) over 24 hours, raising over $1,100 for MacKillop.
Thank you so much to Harry for taking part in this fantastic fundraising endeavor.