“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. “ ~ John Muir
Lately there’s been a lot of research about the positive benefits of spending time outdoors. My Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds are constantly filled with photos and hashtags professing #NatureasMedicine #TrailTherapy #NatureWisdom.
As adventurers and ambassadors of our natural world, we of course, have known this all along—it’s no secret to us spending time outside has both physiological and psychological benefits.
As a writer, I find if I’m stuck on a blog post, a good run provides inspiration and frees my mind for exploration. In fact, it was on a trail run two years ago I came up with the idea to combine my love for running and adventure travel with giving back—an initiative I call Small Change.
The concept is designed to create a movement of philanthropy—open to all adventurers. The idea is small change, be it $5, $10, $15, or more adds up to big impact for organizations that take on issues we’re passionate about, be it environmental conservation, animal rights, or food recovery and assistance, among others. My first Small Change donation of $25 supported Push to the Finish as part of running Speedgoat 50K.
Here’s how Small Change works:
- Identify a nonprofit organization in your destination city, region, or state
- Donate a few dollars directly to the organization
- Fill out the short form on my website to share your donation story
Your donation story is repurposed into blog posts and social media updates, giving your nonprofit of choice added publicity. Many nonprofits, particularly smaller ones, struggle for awareness, and Small Change provides recognition and helps drive more funds to the selected organizations.
To date, over 40 organizations have benefited from Small Change and combined have received a total of more than $4,300. Through adventurers and runners like you, I’ve learned about organizations that are changing lives, empowering our neighbors, and making our communities stronger.
Summer signals adventure—hiking, camping, kayaking—the possibilities seem endless when the sun is beckoning us outside. Before you hit the dirt, splash through a stream, marvel at a mountaintop, or whatever adventure awaits you, I encourage you to add an important action item to your to-do list—make a Small Change donation.
One of the principles driving the initiative is every dollar counts. And so in the words of John Muir, by joining the Small Change movement, you will indeed receive far more than you seek knowing your small change adds up to big impact for your adventure community.
Where’s your next adventure? And remember, when you’re out on the trails please Make a Pact, Pack It Out!