I love this time of year. I love everything about it (except the cold weather). I love the idea of remembering to say thank you, and for giving to others and when that can coincide with my passion for running, than it’s a win, win!
I’ve been trying to reinforce this idea of giving back and giving to those that need it to my children so I’m always looking for opportunities to practice what I preach. That’s where the idea for this post came from. I wanted to help you, my runner friends, with different ways you can give.
-Most races have a charitable partner or are the charity themselves organizing the race. Supporting them can be as easy as attending their event. And if you’re social media savvy, maybe spread a little social media love while you’re there.
Run for others
– Donate your miles through groups like Charity Miles. This is about as easy as it gets. All you have to do is run. Ok, well you have to download the app and a few small registration steps but then all you do is run!
Volunteer at a race
– First off, this is FREE. No money needed and secondly, the feeling you’ll get from handing a runner a water or cheering someone on you don’t know is HUGE. It’s so worth it and the runners might thank you too!
Clean up your run route
– Most of us despise the treadmill so we find ourselves on run routes most of the time. Next time you go, take a bag and (safely) clean up your route. You’ll be giving back to other runners and you’ll feel a sense of pride next time you run that route. One lesson I learned from camping as a kid was to leave the site better than when you got there. Same sort of thing.
Donate your medals
– Gasp! I said it. There are groups that use these medals to give to children in hospitals. Medals4Mettles is one but I’m sure there are others. If you’re not attached to them, think about how a sick child might benefit from hanging it around their neck.
Donate your old shoes
– I’m sure we’ve all done this before but if you’re getting new kicks for Christmas, consider the one in, one out approach. If you get a pair, give a pair. Soles4Souls is just one of many that will take the old shoes off your hands OR check your local running store.
Support a charitable runner or become one
– Many runners get into major marathons by raising money for great groups. Something as small as a $5 donation can mean so much to a fellow runner and the charity they support. Two of my favorites to donate to are: Dani and Linzie (if you’re a runner running for a charity, leave your link in the comments)
– Talk about easy…So many running related brands have huge hearts and helping them help others is as easy as looking good. Asics and Run Janji are two that instantly come to mind because I know first hand how they help. So get some new duds and help good causes.
– Empower and educating children is SO rewarding. That’s why I love groups like Girls on the Run. You have so much of an opportunity to shape who they are as women and creating that solid foundation for them can pay dividends beyond the amount of time you spend.
Spread the social media love
– There are so many companies that are donating to causes based on their social media engagement. I know. There’s an upside for the brand (brand awareness) but does it really matter? If using a hashtag (like Anytime Fitness did with #BurnTheTurkey) gets a charity a little more money then why not?!
So while you’re running around getting things done, thing about all the good you could be doing just by going for a run! If that’s not enough of a reason to make time, I don’t know what is.
What are your favorite ways to give back?