Our family has found a new passion: running (or strollering!) for a cause. It gets us active, raises money for a good cause, connects us with others, and—oh yeah—it’s fun!
by Heidi Indahl
Cooler weather is starting to tease the air here in the soon-to-be frozen tundra of Minnesota. I could spend most evenings sitting on my porch just enjoying the fresh air. I admit that I am a person who hides in the air conditioning during the hot, humid days of summer. I look forward with joy to the pleasant days of spring and fall.
It always seems just a little easier to work our way outside as a family during these times. We enjoy being able to hike without carrying twelve gallons of water and to return from a family walk without dripping in sweat. These are things we have always enjoyed doing together and last fall we participated in our first family fun run for a cause. We were hooked. Here are four reasons you might want to try giving a fundraiser 5K a try.
- Raise money for a good cause. Investment varies and there are options to fit every budget. We came together with friends and family to raise over $1,000 for stillbirth and infant loss research in memory of our daughters Kenna and Siena. On the other side, we participated in a fundraise 5K for local parish summer programming that was styled more free will offering style and while we did make the suggested minimum donation, it was a much smaller contribution. Both models benefitted the organization in positive ways.
- Get active as a family. This one is fairly self-explanatory. Some events have varying distances for different ages, but running for a cause is a great external motivator to get everyone moving.
- Connect with others who share your passions. In the case of the stillbirth research event, it was a beautiful thing to see many families coming together who had experienced the same life event. Many families made special shirts in memory of their loved one. Due to weather we were rained out of a recent Ronald McDonald House family fun walk (pouring rain and former NICU babies aren’t a great combo), but we had been looking forward to connecting with some of the staff who had cared for us during a hard time in our lives and giving back to the organization at the same time. Even missing out on the event, it prompted some conversations about how we could give back in another way.
- It’s fun! Running events, especially those designed primarily as fundraisers, are fun. I mean really fun. The Ronald McDonald House event had their classic red and white striped socks as a participant gift and Ronald McDonald himself was in attendance. The Star Legacy (stillbirth research/prevention) had art projects, bubbles, and more. The parish communities had games and activities being led by the same youth who would benefit from the money raised. Everyone had food. None of them involved showing up, walking or running a race, and then going home.
What charity runs does your family like to do?