I absolutely love doing runs for charity. The most enriching thing I've ever done was raising $3,000 for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. After my brother was diagnosed with a severe case of Ulcerative Colitis, I decided to enter a half-marathon and work with Team Challenge (a partner with CCFA that raises money for research toward a cure). Though running a half-marathon takes discipline and training, it was worth it to know that I was doing something to help my brother and others who will benefit from the work I put into my training. It's amazing to know that you have helped something so much bigger than yourself while at the same time, improving your health emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I truly believe that your soul is changed when you do something for others. You become a different person when you push yourself through the physical pain of training so that you can do something for someone else.
In November, I ran my second half-marathon and raised money for Team Future, an organization that educates children and adolescents about healthy eating and lifestyles. It was a very fulfilling experience. I've also run several 5Ks for breast cancer (and a 15k for breast cancer) and other organizations that research cures for children's leukemia and other terrible diseases. Through all of my races, I have tried to think about those I am helping while I run. Anything you do can help. A $25 entrance fee or $3,000+ both mean something to someone. And think of it this way, you're getting exercise too! I mean, it's a win-win!
Check out the slide-show at fitness magazines which has different causes that you can contribute to or check out active.com for activities close to you. There are always charity events you can participate in whether they are bike rides, runs, triathlons, or some crazy combination! Trust me, it's 100% worth it!
Check out some pictures I took at some of my races below.