Sunday, January 26, 2014

Why am I doing this?

Why another marathon? Why another 16 weeks of 5am wake-ups, freezing cold runs, and skin that has been rubbed off from miles of resistance?
Because I can.

More than that, because I have the opportunity to raise support and awareness for a great group. As I work my way into adulthood, I have far less money than I would like to donate to the wonderful organizations that rely on the generosity of many. But I have found that when you give someone the option of running 26 ish miles or donating $50, that $50 looks pretty appealing. (Hint, this is where you come in.)

This year, I'm raising money for Gilda’s Club of Nashville. Gilda's is more than just a physical place where people meet and connect, it’s a community. Their mission, "to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community." says it all. I am firm, deep believer in the power of community. We see it around us every day- people reaching out to offer support to the people around them when they need it. Dinner for the family with a new baby, watching the neighbor's children when school is close again, someone there to lend a sympathetic ear when you're just stretched to your limits. An online community for people to share the miles they've run for those who no longer can. Communities give us strength, confidence, and the resources we need every day, and that is why I am wholeheartedly happy to support the community  has created.

It's hard to think of a single person who hasn't been touched by cancer. There's no need to count the number of friends and family who have seen loved ones through chemo, radiation, surgeries, recoveries. Knowing how many names we can name that we have lost to cancer only affirms how large this community of people is, and how valuable places like Gilda's Club are.

From now until race day, I will be collecting donations for Gilda's Club. They offer their services at no cost, and it takes the generosity and help of people like you to help them offer these wonderful programs. Whether it's $5, $50, or some other number with a 5 in it, please consider giving.

Personally, I like options, so options I will offer. Please choose the level of sponsorship that most closely aligns with your ability to give:

Platinum- In it to win it: Platinum level sponsors will accompany me to Nashville and complete the marathon with me! Platinum status requires no direct donation to my campaign, comes with free room and board in Nashville, and requires sponsor to cover all race entries and travel fees associated with the race. No one has ever run a race with me before. It's a pacing thing- or it could be that I choose races a little far from all my training friends- but it would be so great to have someone I know run this with me. The accomodations (aka my parents' house) do include two coffee machines and chocolates on your pillow. So there's that to consider.

Gold- Money where my mouth is: Sponsors at this level say they want to help, and they do. By donating money. A little money or a little more money. It's all money and it all goes to good use. For every gold-level sponsor, I will make an additional donation to Gilda's Club. Donations can easily be made via my online donation site, or in person. 100% of your donation goes to programs at Gilda's.

Silver- Paying it forward: Maybe you are still dealing with Christmas credit card repercussions. Maybe Girl Scout cookie season left you tapped out. If you can't make a monetary donation and are unable to join me in Nashville, you can make a donation by helping someone out. It doesn't have to be someone impacted by cancer, but it very well could be. Whether it's a meal, a movie, a walk, babysitting, yardwork, or a weekly phone call to let someone know you care about their life, reach out. Bring a little piece of Gilda spirit to your corner of the world, and make sure the people around you feel supported. Support the people you love by making sure you are healthy. Exercise. Drink a lot of water. Cut back on the bacon. You can also share my site on Facebook, Twitter, or your weekly work newsletter (kidding. kind of.) to give other people the opportunity to support a great group:

Bronze- Feeding Frenzy: Donations of Swedish Fish, brownies, and Lindt Sea Salt dark chocolate bars are always accepted as training fuel for this run. Please contact me for direct mailing information.

I hope you'll consider donating, I hope you'll share your Silver Sponsor moments here. More than anything, I hope you invest time, energy, in love in building the communities that mean the most to you.

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