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Undoubtedly, one of the greatest benefits of becoming a runner is that it has connected me with the running community, which in turn has made me aware of many more charities and ways to give back. Other than the sense of community and awareness, running has given me so many gifts, including clarity of mind, strength, perseverance, patience, perspective and an overall sense of gratitude.
One of my goals has been to in turn give back to running and to find ways to combine my love of running with giving back. I would like to tell you about a way that you can combine your passion for running with giving back, and it won’t require a single penny out of your pocket (or any of your friends’ pockets).
A “virtual marathon” is occurring throughout the month of May in honor of Mother’s Day, and here is how you can participate from wherever you are.
You may have already heard of Charity Miles, a free app that you download that helps keep track of the miles that you run, walk, or bike, that will donate money on behalf of your miles. You pay nothing. You run, walk, or bike; and companies that work with the app donate money for every mile you log. The more miles you cover, the more money they donate. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it is. I’ve been using the free app for over a year now.
For Mother’s Day and May, Charity Miles has teamed up with FIT4MOM to create a virtual “marathon” event. They are challenging you to run, walk, or bike for 26.2 miles from May 1st to May 31st, wherever you are. Of course, given that if you follow Women’s Running you are likely an overachiever, you can certainly cover many more miles than that if you want! The more miles you log in May, the more money gets donated on your behalf.
They have a whole list of charities they work with and you get to choose the charity you want the money to go to. And after May is over, you can continue to use the free app to give back. Some of my favorite charities are Every Mother Counts, which helps to prevent pregnancy and childbirth related death in women in developing countries; very fitting for Mother’s Day. Other charities are St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, Autism Speaks, and Habitats for Humanity. You can find a full list of all the charities on the app and choose the one you want.
I’ve created a team called “Women’s Running Magazine” which you can join. I would love for you to join my team, pick your charity that you want the money to go to, and share this post with as many friends and family as you can. I’m sure that everyone you know can cover 26.2 miles in a one month period—that is less than a mile per day—and if you are the overachiever, let’s see how many miles you can cover.
Let’s see what we can achieve together by spreading awareness. Let’s give back to running; let’s honor our mothers; let’s make a difference.
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