As I stood chatting with a friend recently, she floored me when she told me her latest fundraising endeavor.
“Twenty-five thousand,” she said. I nodded incredulously, trying to wrap my head around the figure. She was hatching a plan to raise that amount for a nonprofit organization in her hometown, which would likely culminate with her completing an Ironman Triathlon event.
The goal was incredibly lofty. And admirable.
Most people I know would love to raise funds for a nonprofit organization, if they only had enough time. Or they would like to give more, but they might not have enough disposable income to make it a possibility. But for athletes, there are multiple ways to become involved in charitable activities, and many don’t take a huge time investment or involve a large donation to make an impact. For those athletes looking to get involved and give back to their communities in Oregon and Southwest Washington, below is a list of nonprofit events and groups they can participate in.
· Girls on the Run –Portland: A program for girls ages eight to 13, it teaches them life skills in addition to training them for a five-kilometer race. The program is in need of Running Buddy volunteers who run with a girl at a practice May 2, and at the Starlight Run 5K on June 1.
· Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Oregon and Southwest Washington: Komen Oregon’s mission, like the national branch of the foundation, is to save lives and end breast cancer through preventative care and medical research. The organization sponsors two 5K races in the state, one in Portland on September 15 and an October 6 race in Eugene.
· National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Oregon Chapter: The local chapter helps families in Oregon and Southwest Washington affected by MS. It sponsors multiple Walk MS events around the region, and the 2013 Bike MS Willamette Valley cycling adventure takes place August 2–4.
· Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: The organization’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve life quality for patients. The Team In Training program mentors athletes in fundraising, as well as providing training for marathons, half-marathons, triathlons, and century bike rides.
· The Forest Park Conservancy: The local group protects the health of Forest Park and maintains its trails, and enhances public awareness of the park. Hikers can raise funds for the group by completing the All Trails Challenge, while runners can compete in the third annual Forest Park Trail Marathon and Half-Marathon on August 17.
· Albertina Kerr: Supporting people with developmental disabilities and mental challenges, Albertina Kerr supports both children and adults in Oregon. Walkers and runners are welcome for the Race for the Roses Half Marathon, 10K or 5K on April 14.
From paying for a race fee, to raising funds while training for a triathlon, every athlete can find a level they’re comfortable giving at — and turn an athletic event into one that benefits the community.