Project: Life’s Journey to Host Virtual 5K “Race in Place” May 16 to Benefit Wesley Community Service Center

(Norfolk, Virginia, April 28, 2020) – To help replenish food pantry shelves at the Wesley Community Service Center in Portsmouth, a new Hampton Roads nonprofit, Project: Life’s Journey, will host a Virtual 5K “Race in Place,” May 16 at 9:00 a.m.

Benicia Hernandez Gill, a local business owner, mental health advocate and runner, launched the nonprofit this spring. She developed the idea for a virtual race as a way for local running and walking enthusiasts to stay active while social distancing—and raising money for a good cause.

Since 1937, the Wesley Community Center has addressed community needs and social issues for underserved residents in Portsmouth’s Southside communities. Since the outbreak of coronavirus, the center has struggled to keep up with the demand for operating its food pantry for the neighborhoods it serves.

Proceeds from the race registrations and online donations will benefit the community center’s food drive, along with other efforts to support Hampton Roads communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration is $35 for adults and $25 for youth age 12 and under. Beginning at 9:00 a.m. on race day, participants run or walk at home or in their neighborhoods, and then log their time online at the end of the competition. Everyone who enters will receive a race t-shirt and a finishers medal.

The Virtual 5K is the first outreach event for Gill’s nonprofit, with more to come.

“I’ve dedicated my career to helping others find the balance they may need to live the best life they can,” said Gill, who owns Life’s Journey, a full-service behavioral health provider serving the Hampton Roads region. “Project: Life’s Journey is an extension of my business that will provide support services, programs and more events like this that promote wellness and hope for Hampton Roads communities.”

Register for the race at Those who wish to contribute can donate online at

About Project: Life’s Journey

Founded by Benicia Hernandez Gill, Project: Life’s Journey is an extension of Life’s Journey, a full-service behavioral health provider. The 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing services that promote wellness and hope among communities throughout Hampton Roads. These services include counseling, case management and classes related to mental health and wellness; support for single parents to help them reach their educational goals; recreational activities for children; and resources and support for educators. For information, visit

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