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This year's NYC Gaza 5K was described by participants as 'the most lit 5K' they have ever run. In addition to this absolutely flattering -- in a truly millennial sense -- comment, the UNRWA USA team has received such wonderful feedback from the event and we are so grateful.

But ultimately, beyond the run, dabke, and logistics on our end, the success of the event was a reflection of the amazing New York community that came together to support the children of Gaza, raising more than $355,000 for mental health services and UNRWA programming.

One such group of participants was the members of Team Warek Dawali. They not only made this event an important enriching, communal experience but also had four team members to medal in the race! Their team was passionate and energetic, collectively raising $6,447.13 -- surpassing their fundraising goal by nearly $500. 

Here are some words, shared by Hanan Farraj, a member of Team Warek Dawali, while reflecting on the race: 

I just want to thank your organization for putting it together for such an amazing cause. Yesterday was my first ever 5K! It was such a fun experience and wonderful that I could share it with my sons! Our team, Warek Dawali, was made up of family and friends. It was a great bonding experience! We really had a great time! We had four of our team members who placed in top times! My son, Izzeldeen Farraj, came in third overall! He’s going to college this fall and was excited to do one of his last races before going away with his family. Again, thank you so much for all you do for the Palestinian people! See you next year InshAllah!
— Hanan Farraj
 Four members of team Warek Dawali placed either overall or within their age divisions; team captain Izzeldeen Farraj came in third place overall!

Four members of team Warek Dawali placed either overall or within their age divisions; team captain Izzeldeen Farraj came in third place overall!

We are honored and humbled by these words of kindness and the generosity of the New York community. A huge thank you to the Farraj family, team Warek Dawali, and all the other incredible teams that moved for mental health with us in Prospect Park, Brooklyn on Saturday March 24. Stay tuned for future race dates and other UNRWA USA activities in your community!