5 Charities that Give the Gift of Running

fri5Good news, Salty readers! While you may be finished shopping for all the good little girls and boys on your Christmas list, you can keep the giving going in a meaningful way.  No, you don’t have to revisit Amazon or, worse, hit the mall. And the recipients of this giving won’t get bored with your gifts within a few weeks. And better yet? This way you can give the gift of running! Bonus, for those self-interested types out there, this gift is tax deductible! Yes, you guessed it, we’re talking about charities. But not just any charities, charities that give the gift to running to those in need. While we’ve highlighted  5 charities here, but please give a shout-out to any other worthy organizations in the comments!

1. Back On My Feet introduces people who are homeless to running, meeting for at least three weekly runs together. In addition, they also provide assistance with finding employment and permanent housing. Also note that you can earn money for Back On My Feet by running with the Charity Miles app.

2. Achilles International provides opportunities for people with disabilities (including kids and veterans) to participate in athletics.Donations are used to purchase special racing wheelchairs, implement school-based programs, and purchase running shoes for kids from low-income households.

3. Team Red White & Blue (Team RWB) is an organization that helps veterans acclimate back to civilian life, build social connections, and gain leadership experience through physical activity. Funds are used to pay for the cost of local programs and send veterans to leadership camps.

Mint and her GOTR Girls after their 5k race! How could they not feel empowered after that?!

4. Girls on the Run is a youth development program for girls in 3rd – 8th grade. It is aimed at giving girls self-confidence and tools to navigate tough stuff in life — gossiping, bullying, standing up for yourself and others, being a positive part of the community– while training for a 5k. Donations buy curriculum materials, grants to underserved communities, and entry fees for girls from low-income backgrounds. Our very own Mint has volunteered as a GOTR coach!

5. GO FAR (Go Out For A Run) is a 10-week program for kids focused on reducing the obesity epidemic. Kids learn about physical activity, healthy eating, and goal setting while training for a 5k. GO FAR uses donation funds to provide program scholarships, buy running shoes for children from low-income households, and start new clubs.

Low on funds? Even a few dollars can help. And don’t underestimate the gift of your time: Consider volunteering as a coach or buddy runner or signing up to train for a race to raise funds.

Do you make it a point to give to running related charities? If so which one? Did we miss any really good ones in our list? 

I'm a 20-year veteran of competitive running, USATF certified coach, mom of a toddler -- and still trying to set PRs. I write about training from 5k to marathon, motherhood and competitive running, and the elite side of the sport. The 5k is my favorite race (16:56 PR) but I've got a score to settle with the marathon.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 comment