During these great times of uncertainty, many have shown unwavering support for those who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Many people are lucky to be quarantined in the comfort of their homes, but many others are struggling with job insecurity, lack of access to food and great risk to livelihood brought on by working essential jobs amidst the pandemic.
Many organizations and individuals have stepped up to help by starting fundraisers in order to support those struggling during this difficult and uncertain time. A fundraising tactic that has gained traction is running to raise funds for coronavirus relief efforts. This is a perfect way to get outside, exercise and enjoy the fresh air while simultaneously raising money to help communities and people in need.
Many University of Connecticut students took part in a social media initiative sponsored by Positive Tracks, a New England-based nonprofit that encourages youth, of all backgrounds, to use sport as a catalyst for change.
On April 10, Positive Tracks held an event called the Crush COVID Virtual 5K. Positive Tracks pledged to donate $10 per participant ranging in age from 12 to 25. All of the money raised went to the national COVID response fund at the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to support healthcare workers, those most vulnerable to the disease and hygiene promotion activities to help stop the spread of the disease.
Participants were instructed to post their results on social media and tag Positive Tracks and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy for proof of completion and in hopes of increasing participation.
Run.For.Heroes is another organization that has used running to raise funds for various coronavirus relief efforts. This initiative is taking place in the United Kingdom and has also gained support from people in the United States. It has already raised more than $4 million to support the wellbeing of the National Health Service workers.
The point of this challenge is to run a 5k, donate five dollars and nominate five people on your social media to do the same. Their social media is filled with pictures of participants who have completed the run, as well as messages from healthcare workers expressing their gratitude.
Many individuals are also using running as a catalyst for fundraising.
Maya Mor, a freshman in high school from Minnetonka, Minnesota, organized a virtual 5k to raise money for the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund at Greater Twin Cities United Way. The event took place on April 18 and raised over $7,000.
In Colorado, Seth Demoor, an experienced marathoner, decided to run 50 miles around his neighborhood to raise money. His neighbors pledged money for each quarter-mile lap he ran and, in total, he raised roughly $20,000, all of which will be donated to Colorado families who are struggling to pay their rent during this time.
Whether you are experienced in the sport or not, running is a great way to raise money while abiding by social distancing protocol. Consider organizing a virtual running race in your town or look into races nearby to help the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Emma Gehr is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.