MEDALS & PHILANTHROPY
With a full runDisney race season calendar announced, I had my heart set on participating in the Princess Half Marathon Weekend. But even with that excitement, something felt like it was missing. It is impossible to ignore all of the sacrifices everyone has gone through over the past year, and I felt the weight of my privilege (able to plan, pay, and travel across the country to run at Disney, among other things). While I, like most people, must carefully plan and save for these ‘race-cations’, I felt there was more that I could (and should) be doing to give back.
I was introduced to Kellsie’s Hope Foundation just this year by an amazing runDisney friend (y’all, we seriously have the best community of people)! As one of the smaller charities runDisney works with, Kellsie’s Hope Foundation found themselves in the position to not only highlight their organization during each race weekend, but they will be DOUBLING their footprint at each race! This is an incredible opportunity for them to raise some serious funds at a time when it is needed the most.
I immediately jumped on the opportunity to join their team – which got me thinking… maybe there’s more to this. More than just race weekend fundraising, more than bibs and expos, but a true opportunity to highlight charities doing such important work. And that’s how #MedalsandPhilanthropy was born.
KELLSIE’S HOPE FOUNDATION – FIGHTING CHILDHOOD CANCER
Cancer has touched my life in many ways, including losing my father-in-law to pancreatic cancer in 2017, but I can’t even imagine what it’s like to see a child have to deal with such a serious illness. Kellsie's Hope Foundation is on a mission to provide hope to these families who have children suffering from cancer. They offer support for trips and gifts that might otherwise be unattainable, like sending an entire family to Disney. They are also dedicated to raising awareness and funds to support childhood cancer research and support the education of healthcare providers with an annual nursing scholarship.
After learning more about Kellsie’s Hope Foundation, I immediately connected to the importance of its mission and wanted to do anything I could to help. I signed up with their runDisney team, Kellsie’s Krew, to complete the Fairytale Challenge during the upcoming Princess Weekend in 2022. While this is a small step towards making an impact, I hope to learn (and share) more on my journey as to how I can make an even greater, lasting impact for this and other organizations.
EVERY DONATION IS MAGIC
After a tough year of quarantine and sacrifice, the announcement that runDisney races would return was a welcome piece of news. As all our minds swirled with the new information, many charities readied themselves for these opportunities of race season fundraising, but unfortunately, many charities were not chosen to participate in the 2021-2022 race season. While I don’t understand the reasoning/strategy behind this decision, I do understand how devastating this can be for a charitable organization. My hope is to highlight these important charities throughout the year to raise awareness and funds for their organization.
General donations are an AMAZING way to help support Kellsie’s Hope Foundation and other featured charities! But be sure to stay tuned for some other fun opportunities to get involved in #MedalsandPhilanthropy!
The first #MedalsandPhilanthropy initiative is the opportunity to connect with me 1-1 for an idea-sharing/mentoring session for your next race! Whether you’re preparing for your first 5K, one of the 19.3mi Challenges, or even the Dopey Challenge – we can walk through your plans and make sure you are on the path to success! Let’s talk training plans, bounding, race week strategy, and more! 100% of the proceeds from these 30min sessions will be donated to the featured charity! While I'm no certified personal trainer or coach, I have run all of these races, succeeded, failed, and I'm ready to share all of my best tips. Opportunities to donate and book your 1-1 session can be found in my shop!
I have a few other ideas up my sleeve and they will be announced both here on my website and on my Instagram page: @MedalsandTiaras. Stay tuned! - xo Jerica