The Stepping Out for Victims 5K Run/Walk and Tot Trot provides residents with an opportunity to assist the VSU in helping crime victims throughout the Spalding County community.
“We give victims any kind of help they need — the resources they need. We’re there for them. Heck, if they just need a shoulder to cry on, that’s what we’re here for,” said VSU Director Judy Robertson. “We help all kinds of victims. It can be anything from a murder to domestic violence to burglary victims and theft victims.”
The workload of the VSU staff, which consists of two full-time and two part-time positions, is indicative of the tremendous need for such services, as approximately 4,000 victims received assistance in 2009.
According to Robertson, a VSU staff member responds to every crime reported to the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Griffin Police Department.
The work undertaken by the VSU is not funded by the SCSO, but rather by grants and a mandatory 5 percent fee added to fines paid by Georgia defendants.
“That five percent fee goes into the Crime Victims Compensation Fund. That money, along with grants, is how we fund our work,” Robertson said. “And, of course, fund-raisers.”
Saturday’s fund-raiser, the Stepping Out for Victims 5K and Tot Trot, will begin at 8 a.m. with on-site registration for $25 at 7:15 a.m. at First National Bank on Hill Street.
Participants may choose to walk or run in the 5K or one-mile Tot Trot.
All youth participating in the Tot Trot will receive certificates and the first- through third-place finishers in the 5K will be awarded medals.
Those interested in supporting the work of the VSU by participating may also pre-register, which guarantees receipt of a T-shirt, by visiting the VSU office at 881 Memorial Drive or the SCSO at 401 Justice Blvd., or by calling 770-467-1012.