I’m heading out tomorrow for another adventure, but it’s not related to running (gasp). My destination is sunny Palm Springs, CA to attend the BNP Paribas Open. For those who aren’t familiar with this tournament, it’s the largest two-week tennis event outside of the four majors (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open), and is held annually at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
It will be my third year attending the tournament and I’m looking forward to spending time with family, as well as basking in the sun watching my favorite player. I’m often asked if I play tennis, and truth be told, not as much as I would like—I watch it much more than I play.
Another travel destination provides the opportunity to donate to a local organization as part of Small Change, an initiative I founded in July 2014 to give back to our race and adventure cities. Selecting a nonprofit in which to contribute is always fun and rewarding—the idea is to choose an organization meaningful to you.
On a recent job application, I was asked to describe myself. I shared the best job ever (besides X position at X company) would be a professional philanthropist—I couldn’t think of anything better than giving away my money to those in need and who are making the world a better place. I joked I’d start with animals and work my way down. There’s definitely truth this statement, so it was pretty easy choosing a Palm Springs nonprofit.
I donated $15 to Guide Dogs of the Desert, an organization that provides custom trained guide dogs for the blind, and for those with special needs, for safe mobility, companionship, and independence. When I lived in NYC, I was a running guide for the Achilles Track Club. I ran with runners who were blind, in wheelchairs or who just needed a little extra help. Two of my usual runners were both blind and relied exclusively on a guide dog when someone wasn’t running with them. I’m incredibly honored to support an organization as important as Guide Dogs of the Desert—learn more in my donation story.
Do you have an upcoming race or an adventure? Together our Small Change can add up to something good for communities.