How to Give Back Through Running

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend! If you’re struggling with the back-to-work grind that is Monday, just remember, in exactly ten days, IT WILL BE CHRISTMAS!! 🙂 I have my last final and will be traveling home this week, so I apologize in advance – there will probably not be many posts this week! Check in next week and you’ll be rewarded with lots of cute pictures of my dogs. 🙂

Today I have a nice holiday post from my mom to share! So, without further ado…

How to give back by running. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

With the holidays coming fast upon us,  it seems like a good time to take a moment to talk about giving back, whether the recipient is a family member, friend or your community.

There are so many ways to do this (and to even have some fun with it)!

Obviously, the most common way to give back is  straight up donations to your favorite charity, which is always great, especially if you work for a company that has a matching program, something worth asking about, or checking out on your company’s website.

Then there are those companies whose products give back through your purchase. Toms are one example (Nora has a pair, which she absolutely loves), and of course, there’s Janji, whose goal is “to help people in undeveloped countries get access to clean water through the sale of its clothing.”

Buying products from companies like Janji is one way to give back through running.

Nora has reviewed Janji’s great apparel for us in a couple of posts, so we know their stuff is cool and comfy – and you get to support a great cause. (My  Janji shirt is so comfy and pretty that I prefer not to wear it out running, but to keep it as part of my stylish “athleisure” wardrobe. ) 😉

There are even special apps that help you put your running to charitable use!Runner’s World Magazine did a little piece about these apps in their March, 2014 issue, so check them out! FitCause, Run4Good, and CharityMiles are a few examples. Charity Miles works by donating 25 cents per mile run or walked and 10 cents per mile for biking. If one of these works for you, you can make your morning workouts benefit someone else, too!

I really liked this idea and checked these out myself, but as I am rathertechnologically-challenged (something my husband could definitely confirm)   I decided to make up my own charity running project. I made a simple spreadsheet, (which comes out different every time because I keep forgetting how to use Excel!) to log my miles, both running and walking.

My mileage log for donating. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running duoAt the end of the month, I add up the total and donate 50 cents for every mile to my favorite charity, Homes for Our Troops.  (This is a great organization that works to build especially adapted homes for disabled veterans ) Though I hadn’t intended this as a “motivational” tool for me, I found that I was really proud of the donations I made when the monthly totals were high – from training for the marathon – and so now, even though I’m not running quite as much, I’m still more motivated to get out there to keep those totals up.

Homes for Our TroopsHomes for Our TroopsI’m obviously not the first person to have this idea, but it’s become something I really enjoy doing. It’s simple and fun and that’s what’s made it so easy to incorporate into my routine for almost a year. And I figure when I’m too old to run  (haha), I will go on logging those walking miles, so this is one habit I won’t need to give up any time soon.

If you’re interested in checking out even more creative and inspiring ways to give back, you should take a look at the December issue of Runner’s World: there are some wonderful and inspiring stories of runners who have found some really cool ways to spread a little generosity.

So I hope that gives you a few ideas for your holiday running!

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