On Friday, I’m heading out for another race—next up is Pikes Peak Marathon on August 17 in Manitou Springs, Colorado. This will be the sixth consecutive year I’ve travelled to this quaint little town to take on this intimidating mountain that has 7,815 feet of elevation gain and a summit that reaches 14,115 feet.
I’ve run the Ascent twice and the Marathon the last three years. I’m looking forward to the challenge and overall camaraderie that awaits me on race day (not to mention the grapes at the Barr Camp aid station). I’m also looking forward to donating to a Colorado-based nonprofit as part of my Small Change initiative.
Small Change is an initiative I started to donate money to organizations in each of the cities I race. As my annual trip to Colorado approached, I knew I had to choose an organization—however, there’s so many inspiring organizations out there, I knew my task wouldn’t be easy. So, I went to the masses and asked for suggestions on one of my recent blog posts. I was thrilled to get a response and learn about YouthRoots, a Denver-based organization.
YouthRoots is a program for high school students that uses the philanthropic process as its experiential classroom to teach students how to change the world and give back to their community. The students learn valuable leadership and fundraising skills throughout the year. The program culminates with the students acting as a foundation, offering mini-grants to nonprofit organizations. Since the program started in 2010, YouthRoots has raised $20,000 for 13 nonprofit organizations! Watch this short video to learn more about YouthRoots.
Through YouthRoots, students are learning the value of philanthropy and are becoming change ambassadors, and I couldn’t be prouder to donate $20 to this important organization. My interest in social change started years ago when I partnered with Springboard Innovation on several projects through a previous employer. YouthRoots reminds me of the very kind of change organization that Springboard encourages, one that enables new and innovative thinking. YouthRoots’ tagline says it all—Make Change Take Root.
I encourage you to learn more about YouthRoots and if you are located in the Denver area, consider getting involved—its website lists several opportunities for both businesses and adults. High school students can apply online to join the program during open enrollment.
Are you traveling for a race or adventure? Join the Small Change movement. Here’s how it works:
- Choose an organization that is meaningful to you in your race destination’s city/state (please keep with the spirit of this website when selecting your organization)
- Donate directly to the organization (whatever amount you want)
- Go to Small Change and share your story
- The organization will be featured on Adventures in Thumbholes
- I will share the goodness of the organization through my blog and social media channels to spread the word about your organization of choice.
Together, our Small Change can add up to something good for communities.