Monday, October 29, 2012

Why run for a cause?

Why do people run for a cause?  Why is it that so many nonprofit organizations utilize athletic activities as fundraising strategies?  In 2006, over $1.5 billion dollars were raised in the US for various causes through athletic fundraising events!!!  That's a bunch of super effective sweating!!!  

In fact, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's main source of revenue is through the Team in Training Program (the same through which Dash for the 'Stache is running in January), which just goes to show how important our upcoming race is - it is so much more than a run.

There is a lot more research I would like to do about fundraising through athletic events, but  every time I get my shoes on and run, I reflect on why I am actually doing this.  Sure, signing up for a big commitment such as a half-marathon that one has to raise $3600/person to even participate in puts some fire in the engine, but it's not really about being able to run.  For me, the running is a time of focus, a way to remember why you're running.

I've run many 5k races, the type that are usually themed around something fun and entertaining, and I really sign up for the people-watching more than for the opportunity to run.  

Tim and I take off for the
Day of the Dead 5K
For example, Tim and I ran in Centro's "Day of the Dead" 5k this past weekend in Raleigh, and, being a sucker for dressing up in costume, and for the beautiful history surrounding the celebration of the Day of the Dead, we were sure to have fun.  All it took was a $25 entry fee and we got nice tech shirts and a morning full of fun and fellowship, with all proceeds going toward the Boys and Girls Club in Raleigh.  

This run was amazing, with a wonderful celebration for both the adults and the kids alike, and I feel like the event really reflected on the beautiful mission of the Boys and Girls Club to "inspire and enable all young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens" of their communities.  
Kids' Fun Run about to start

Kids Fun Run blastoff! 

I feel that runs like that are very important tools for raising tons of funds and bringing communities together, but the scale of the run and the fundraising for the Disney Half-Marathon causes me to reflect on athletic activity fundraising in a very different way.  For me, this run is requiring such a different level of focus and dedication - every step I take I think of how lucky I am to have a body fit enough to do these strenuous activities, I think of how short and precious life is, and how I am running for so many whose bodies are too weak from their battles to be able to do what they enjoy doing.  Every day that I run and pile on more miles, what it means to me changes and grows, and I look forward to the journey to come!!

Help us help others strike back against cancer and help make a difference in other peoples lives!  Donate to Team Dash for the 'Stache today!!

No comments:

Post a Comment