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Calling All Slackers: ‘Race for the Rest of Us' Raises Funds Benefitting Local Homeless

Slackathon is "the race for the rest of us," says high school student organizing the fundraiser to help the homeless in Tarrant County

A high school student in North Richland Hills is looking for a very specific type of person for a race on Saturday. He needs slackers.

"A Slackathon is a .5k. It's the run for the rest of us," smiled Zane Sheffield. "You're getting donuts, pizza, chips, drinks. It's just an array of food so that you can be the best slacker. "

Sheffield is a sophomore at Birdville High School and the founder of the Back the Homeless club and the Slackathon.

It's a race but you don't go far, just .5K. And every few feet, you stop to get food and donuts. Sheffield and members of his Back the Homeless Club hosted the first Slackathon in 2019 while they were students at Smithfield Middle School.

They're now in high school, and Slackathon is back in 2021 after the pandemic canceled last year's event.

With coronavirus still causing concern, Sheffield and team adapted the race. This year, you won't even have to walk the 1,600 steps in a .5K. You'll just stay in your car and drive along a path in front of Birdville High School and carb up along the way.

The goal of Slackathon is to have fun and also fundraise to help get stuffed and specially-made backpacks to the homeless in Tarrant County.

"We partnered with a backpack corporation and each backpack is specially made for the homeless. It has multiple compartments and a rain poncho attached to it, so they can just pull it out. It has an anti-theft deterrent, so they can just clip into onto themselves," Sheffield explained. "Inside we put shampoo, water bottles, body wash, sanitary stuff, anything that will help them out."

"Help ease their pain a little because they have a pretty hard life," Sheffield said as he shared the story of his first effort to help the homeless. "A few years back, I went out with a church group and we were giving stuff, and this was the year it was sleeting really hard. And we were giving the stuff off our backs because they had nothing. It was just horrible conditions and after that, I realized there are people in desperate need."

Sheffield hopes to raise enough funds to get 200 stuffed backpacks, and he's inviting the community to join the effort.

Slackathon happens Saturday, May 22 at Birdville High School, 9100 Mid Cities Blvd. in North Richland Hills. It will be from 10 a.m. to noon. No need to wake up early or hurry to get there.

The registration fee is $20 for an adult slacker, $10 for a child slacker and $25 to be a VIP or a virtually inactive participant. You can sign up here or register on-site.

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