Last week, “Giving Tuesday,” a global movement designed to be the charitable answer to holiday retail spending (and Black Friday), caused me to pause and reflect on the last few months.
In July, I started this blog and launched Small Change, an initiative to donate money to an organization in each of the cities I race—and I’ve been encouraging other runners to do the same. The idea is slowly catching on and many wonderful organizations are benefiting from the goodness of runners and travelers:
- St Vincent Lied Dining Facility
- Comfort Zone Camp
- The Mackinac Island Community Foundation
- The Open Pantry of Greater Lowell
- Piedmont Wildlife Center
- Ashland Woodlands & Trails Association
- Panda Paws Rescue
- Push to the Finish
In all, $245 has been donated to organizations across the United States as part of the Small Change initiative. You can find out more about these organizations and why they were selected here. While $245 may not seem significant—small change can add up to BIG impact.
SMALL CHANGE, BIG IMPACT
The above organizations represent a city where someone or I participated in a race (except for one, which was an individual’s solo adventure). If everyone who participated in these races donated to an organization of his or her choice, think of the impact we’d have for these communities. For simplicity, let’s say that on average each of these races had 1,000 participants (many of them had more) who donated $20 each—that’s $160,000! Up the donation to $30 and an astonishing $240,000 would have been generated for these communities—I hope it’s clear what we can accomplish when we join forces.
JOIN THE SMALL CHANGE MOVEMENT
As we close out 2014 and you begin to plan your 2015 race (or adventure) calendar, I encourage you to start thinking about organizations that inspire you and join the Small Change movement. Here’s how it works:
- Choose an organization meaningful to you in your race destination’s city/state
- Donate directly to the organization (whatever amount you choose)
- Go to Small Change and fill out the short form to share your story
- The organization will be featured here—on Adventures in Thumbholes
- I will share the goodness of the organization on social media to spread the word about your organization of choice
The final numbers for Giving Tuesday are still coming in, but initial estimates put it at $45.7 million (up 63% from last year)—the appetite for charitable giving is clearly growing, as people recognize that nonprofits serve an important purpose in our communities.
I appreciate everyone who joined me this year and became “Small Change Runners” and I’m looking forward to increasing the number of participants and contributions to nonprofits in 2015—together, our Small Change can add up to something good for communities.
Please help me spread the word about Small Change—share this link with your running friends and intrepid wanderlusts, as well as post it to your Facebook page, Twitter feed, or other social accounts. Thank you—I appreciate your support and look for a revamped Small Change page soon!