How to help others experience the life-changing power of sport.
After the turkey is gobbled up and the Black Friday deals shopped, it’s time to reflect on our good fortune – and to share with others. Giving Tuesday, a hashtag movement created in 2012 to encourage people to do good, has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give their time, donations, goods, and voice to charitable efforts.
Endurance sports has been a life-changer (and even a life-saver) for many who participate in it, so it’s natural for runners and triathletes to want to tie their Giving Tuesday efforts to helping others experience the life-changing power of sport. Ready to do good? Here are some worthy organizations that could use your help:
One World Running
Many runners in the USA tend to ditch their running shoes well before their useful lifespan is up; One World Running takes these used running shoes, cleans them up, and distributes them to runners in need here and abroad. In addition to shoes and monetary donations, the organization is always looking for volunteers to travel on their service trips around the world, including the upcoming La Farola run in Cuba Jan. 29 – Feb. 6, 2020.
Founded by former pro triathlete turned pro cyclist turned activist Kathryn Bertine, the Homestretch Foundation works to remove socioeconomic barriers to women pursuing careers in endurance sport. Their services include everything from mentoring to discounted (or even free) services such as housing, coaching, training, medical/dental, physical therapists and medical rehabilitation professionals. They achieve this through monetary donations, as well as partnerships with professionals who donate their services.
Racing for Recovery
Using endurance sports as a platform for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, this Ohio-based recovery program helps the newly sober to learn how to live a positive lifestyle. Services include intervention, counseling, support groups, and educational wellness; participants are also given the opportunity to participate in group workouts and even train with founder, Todd Crandell, for an Ironman triathlon. Direct donations of money and goods (such as paper towels, coffee, and cups) are needed, as are athletes who will use their running and triathlon endeavors to raise money and awareness for the organization.
Challenged Athletes Foundation
Most insurance companies do not cover adaptive sports equipment, and many individuals with physical challenges simply cannot afford it. The Challenged Athletes Foundation provides opportunities and support to people with physical challenges so they can pursue an active lifestyle. In 25 years, CAF has awarded over 26,000 individual grants to individuals with physical challenges across 103 sports – including triathlon. For Giving Tuesday, they are running a “Do 20, Give 20” challenge, which combines exercise, social media, and philanthropy.
Girls on the Run
At more than 200 locations nationwide, Girls on the Run incorporates running into a fun, research-based curriculum that includes concepts such as community service, life skills, and respect. Along the way, they also train for their first 5K, which they run at the completion of their program. In addition to volunteers to help implement the 10-12 week curriculum, the organization is in need of one-time volunteers at their 5K events – jobs range from cheer squad and water stop volunteers to joining girls at the 5K to help them experience the magic that comes with crossing the finish line.
Team Red, White, Blue
Team Red, White, and Blue aims to better the lives of American veterans “by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.” Naturally, running is a major component in the group’s programming and fundraising efforts. Athletes can provide support by joining one of the local chapters for regular fitness activities, social gatherings and community service events; the Team RWB Triathlon Facebook page also lists opportunities to raise funds and awareness for the organization at race events.
Donate with your feet at Charity Miles, which lets you turn every run into dollars to be donated to the charity of your choice. Just download the app (for iOS and Android), select one of the 40 charity partners to support, and start running. Since launching, the app’s users have earned over $2.75 million for children, animals, the environment, education, veterans and more – simply by logging the miles they’d already be running.