In 1993, Diane Johnson ran in the first God’s Love We Deliver: Race to Deliver 4-miler. 30 years later she hasn’t forgotten why she runs.
“I look up to the sun and I think of Lee,” Johnson said.
Her husband, Lee Wright, died in 1988 due to complications caused by AIDS. Since that first race, Johnson has seen not only the participants grow, but also the organization.
“It wasn’t this. It’s amazing, amazing how many people have heard of God’s Love,” Johnson said.
More than 7,000 people ran in Sunday’s race to bring awareness to and raise money for the organization.
God’s Love was founded around 40 years ago when volunteers delivered meals to AIDS patients during the AIDS crisis.
It now delivers medically tailored meals covering 200 life-altering illnesses.
“This year we’ll cook and deliver more than 4 million medically tailored meals to people in New York City,” said David Ludwigson, president and CEO of God’s Love We Deliver.
Ludwigson said, since its inception, more than 40 million meals have been served and more than 13,000 people have benefited from the program this year alone.
With Thanksgiving week upon us, the organization is giving back the best way it knows how to.
“We are giving a record number of Turkey dinners this Thanksgiving, more than 15,000, and we’ll do that with the help of 2,000 volunteers on Thursday,” Ludwigson said.
Johnson said she can’t help but think how proud her late husband would be.
“There’s never a question. There are tailored meals. Somebody could call that day and get a meal that day. It’s so amazing, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.”
When compared to last year, the organization says the number of meals it has delivered has increased by 25%.