The Trail

As you all know, I am a runner. I no longer refer to myself as a “runner” (in quotes) because Jennifer and I run three times a week, with at least one of the runs being 10K in distance. The shortest we’ll run is 5K and then laugh at ourselves when we call that a “short” run. Such running snobs we are. We know how ridiculous we’re being, for the record. We’ve just set standards for ourselves that have nothing to do with anybody else, whether they run or don’t, though we do get excited when anyone else takes up running and runs any distance, in any length of time. Because, running. Yay!

Since I’m a runner (And maybe because I’m a nice person?), my friend Kevin sent an email to a number of people, including me. It was about the annual Cure JM national fundraiser / conference taking place around the Chicago Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon (and 3-mile) on Sunday, July 21. He and his wife will be running in the race because their daughter has Juvenile Myositis (JM) (Click on the link to read about what JM is). If you want to register for it, here’s the link: http://www.curejm.org/chicago/.

I don’t live in Chicago (obviously) but his email planted an idea in my head that I’ve been simmering on for the past few days. I plan on running at least two of the 10K races that I ran last year, if not all three of them. I will also be running in a 10-miler (15K) in May and in my very first half-marathon (21K) this September. My reason for running has merely been to be able to say that I DID IT, with the added bonus of beating my own personal record each time that I’ve raced. That won’t always be the case, of course, but I’m honestly happy with just crossing the finish line. Especially for the longer races I plan on racing assuming that I do, in fact, cross the finish line.

There aren’t many races held in the area where I live (there are only a few others than the ones I plan on running in) and none of the races I run are held in conjunction with any charities. That got me thinking. What if, for each race I ran, I ran for a different charity or cause? I could run on behalf of the food bank, or other causes that hit close to home (A different cause/charity for each race!), and people could make donations on behalf of which cause/charity I was running for.

(Side note: When I first brought this up with Matthew, he thought I was talking about people sponsoring Jennifer and I on our weekly 10K runs. Sponsoring us, not a cause or charity.)(Meet us at the finish line with wine!)(I prefer white, she prefers red!)(Ah, communication.)

I brought the topic of running for a cause or charity with Jennifer on our run yesterday. She thinks it is a neat idea, and had been already thinking about the same thing when we do our half marathon in September. There is a guy who is friends of theirs (and of Matthew’s) from high school who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. He is undergoing treatment, and while all of his medical costs are covered under our Canadian health care system, there are the costs of living to deal with. We could make shirts saying whom we’re running for and have people in our community contribute and the whole idea had us both smiling as we talked about it.

I’m not sure of the logistics behind it if people outside of our community wanted to donate to whichever cause or charity I was running on behalf of, but I think that Pay Pal would probably work. If I run on behalf of the food bank, I could issue charitable donation receipts because of the Treasurer position that I hold. For other charities, I would have to coordinate with whomever runs them, but other people must do this, right? I could just send the money with a list of names and addresses for them to get receipts? And if it is for a cause that is not an official charitable organization (such as for the friend with leukemia), people wouldn’t be expecting a donation receipt, I don’t think.

I don’t exactly know about how to go about this, but I’d love to make it happen. If it is doable and you know of anyone who’s done the same (Including you!), I’d love to hear about it. I also have a few other causes in mind, but if you have any ideas, I’m all ears.

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Comments:

  1. hillary March 14, 2013 3:11 am edit

    I love this idea! I have no helpful wisdom to offer but I can cheer you on from my corner of the world :)

    1. angella March 14, 2013 9:30 pm edit

      Thanks, friend. :)

  2. K March 14, 2013 10:39 am edit

    I love everything about this post. I don’t have any advice on logistics though. Good luck!

    1. angella March 14, 2013 9:30 pm edit

      Thanks!

  3. kakaty March 14, 2013 11:47 am edit

    I LOVE this! (I”m a fundraiser, so this kind of stuff makes me happy).

    Last year Mark ran his marathon to support the in honor of our friend’s son with CF. He used CrowdRise.com to create the page (here is his page: http://www.crowdrise.com/kickingcfintheface/fundraiser/markdavis1) . The cool thing about sites like crowdrise is you can create a team – so you and Jennifer can be part of the team but say you have other friends who want to join you for one of the runs – they CAN! And they don’t have to be local to you. You can plan to run a 10k on X date for Y charity and encourage your readers and friends to find their own race to run on that day and also raise $ for Y charity. All depends on what kind of time you have to spend on it.

    Of course, with any on-line system, the host keeps a portion of the donation (CR keeps a fee for credit card costs + $1). A lot of organizations have something like this available now so you might be able to call whatever group you want to support and see what they suggest.

    In the US you can send the money to the charity, but unless it’s the check is made out to them they won’t send a gift receipt. (So, if you collect 15 $20 gifts and then send them a single $300 check they will send YOU a gift receipt for the $300 per IRS rules).

    Anyway, no matter what you do, I think it’s awesome!

    1. angella March 14, 2013 9:32 pm edit

      Thanks for this, friend! I’m excited to check out CrowdRise.com, or a Canadian equivalent if there is one. :)

  4. Amie March 14, 2013 4:02 pm edit

    Friends of ours organized a 10k run for cystic fribrosis reasearch because their little sons have it. They organized sponsorships, t-shirts, got companies to donate prizes for participants. This was on little ol Thetis island.

    1. angella March 14, 2013 9:33 pm edit

      Because Thetis Island is AWESOME. Or so I’ve heard from all of the amazing friends I’ve met from there. :)

  5. Kendrah March 14, 2013 4:02 pm edit

    Hi Angella, my friend is on the women’s Olympic Ski Jump. She set up a page on http://www.rallyme.com, where people could donate to help her pay for travel, training and competition. I am thinking the site can be used the same for donations for charity. You create a page, give some information about your cause and charity and then you can share the link with family and friends via Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. People can donate as little or as much as they want and they can remain anonymous if they wish. You can post updates and stuff too, so people know how you did. Money can be easily transfered directly into an account or via paypal. It’s an awesome site. I used a similar site, called http://www.indiegogo.com, to raise money for a family who lost a child and needed to pay for the funeral. Check them out! And AWESOME IDEA! Good luck!

    1. angella March 14, 2013 9:34 pm edit

      Thank you! And thanks for the links! :)

  6. Jen Wilson March 14, 2013 8:27 pm edit

    This is brilliant.

    When I was running last year, a 5k (or 3-mile) run was a “short” run. Now I can barely make it that far. There are contributing factors, yes, but I can’t wait till I get there again. :)

    1. angella March 14, 2013 9:35 pm edit

      You will. Sooner rather than later, I bet. :)

  7. Elaine March 18, 2013 1:30 pm edit

    Angella, you are SUCH a thoughtful and giving person and an amazing RUNNER!!

    xo

  8. Always Home and Uncool March 18, 2013 10:19 pm edit

    Thanks for spreading the word, Angella. We used to use FirstGiving for Cure JM — not sure if it will work for your idea, but check it out. And since you wrote this, I guess I am now officially going to have to run. ;)

  9. Suzanne March 18, 2013 11:52 pm edit

    Would love it if you support Cure JM for one of those runs. You can set up a donation page through FirstGiving.com or some other such site and people can pledge there. They do take a rather hefty fee of 7% so maybe you can find a better one, but in any case, it’s really pretty easy. Then send the link to all your friends. I’m a parent of a JM kid who doesn’t run but I always hand out water at the finish line! And kudos to all your thoughts and efforts! Many thanks.

  10. D March 19, 2013 4:14 pm edit

    I think that’s a great idea.

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