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It is officially December in the year 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic marches on. If there was ever a time that we needed good will, peace on Earth, and a little bit of healthy movement, it would be this winter.
The continued fallout from the pandemic has hit some communities worse than others. The Federal Reserve entity Fed Communities published findings from a survey in low and middle income communities in October of 2021. The results showed that 86 percent of those communities are seeing significant disruption to economic conditions, 57 percent noted a disruption in services for children in particular, and 94 percent reported disruption to financial stability due to the pandemic.
Charities facing labor shortages and higher demand in their communities are asking for even more help right now from those who are able.
That’s why, if you’re already thinking about signing up for a race or two to get you through the winter solstice, we recommend one of the following. They all promise a fun challenge, while also doing a bit of good for people who need an extra hand these days.
7 Charity Races Happening in December
Your registration fee goes toward a good cause when you sign up for one of these friendly competitions.
Multiple locations and dates
With hundreds of events going on, chances are that you can find one of these festive 5Ks near you. Or run virtually to help get you in the holiday spirit. Put on by the Arthritis Foundation, 100 percent of registration fees and fundraising dollars go to the cause of arthritis management and research.
Santa Speedo Sprint
December 4; New York
This is definitely one race you’ll want to join in-person (unless you’re keen on running a frigid race solo in your skivvies). OK, swimsuits are not required for this 800 meter sprint, but runners do get in the spirit with all sorts of costumes, skin-baring or not. Proceeds from the race benefit the Albany Damien Center, a resource center for those who are living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, and the HIV/AIDS program at Albany Medical Center.
December 11; Virginia, Virtual
For 36 years, Richmond Road Runners Club has hosted this Toy Run 5K. The course runs along Fountain Lake and Swan Lake within the family-friendly Byrd Park, but the option to run virtually is also available. Proceeds from the 5K will go to Mason’s Toy Box Foundation, a nonprofit fitting for the holiday season: donating toys to children who are hospitalized.
December 11; New York
Ready for four miles of holiday fun? This small-town race in Montgomery, New York coincides with a full day of holiday festivities including tree sales, live music, pictures with Santa, and wagon rides. Bring an unwrapped toy with you to packet pick-up to be donated to Toys for Tots.
December 11, Colorado
Hosted by Sweetheart City Racing, this northern Colorado race will also provide toys to kids who need them this gift-giving season. Whether you choose to run the 5K, 10K, or 15K distance, you’ll be asked to bring an unwrapped toy to packet pick-up. The race will benefit Realities for Children, an organization that funds and provides for unmet needs of children who have been abused, neglected, or are at-risk.
December 11; Florida
Even if it’s not a snowy winter wonderland, this Florida run can still take your breath away. The Season of Hope 5K will run along the Hawthorne State Trail, a 10-foot wide paved path that is brimming with native plants and wildlife on either side. The race will benefit Tyler’s Hope Foundation, a non-profit that aims to advance research for a cure and treatment of dystonia, a disorder that causes involuntary muscle movements.
December 12; North Carolina
This year, Hanukkah ends on December 6, but with this community fun run the festivities continue into the following week. According to the race website, the goal of the race is to help their community of runners stay connected and motivated to remain healthy and active this winter. Proceeds from the race will go to the Asheville Jewish Community Center.