‘Tis the season of 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and full ones, “run/walks”, fun runs…. The list continues! Some of these events are 1) family friendly and 2) often support a cause or charity. What a great opportunity for you to promote physical fitness and support a cause/charity event all in one!
This is a great way to get the whole family (including the family dog*) out of the house on a weekend morning and enjoy the fall weather. You can find listing of events on your town’s local website or in the newspaper, or your local radio station may keep a running calendar of events on their site too. Sites such as www.active.com/charitable, allow you to search events in your area. On www.runforcharity.com, you can search by charity or by running event.
Make sure you research the event and confirm that it is children friendly (and pet friendly); many of these runs will have prizes for children who come in 1st, 2nd or 3rd, and a medal is given to all who complete the course. Course medals—another thing your child can start collecting! However, this is a collection I think most of us will support.
Do a little research on the cause or charity the run is supporting—are you familiar with the issue or mission? If not, and if age appropriate, have your child(ren) conduct the research and teach the adults about the charity or cause. As a family, you can confirm whether or not you are comfortable supporting the issue at hand.
*I am sure your pet is great and friendly, but always confirm that pets are welcome to the event.
Now pull out the sneakers and get moving!
Anupa Wijaya, MS, is the founder and Executive Director of The Bag Project, an organization that provides emergency bags for children in crisis. She graduated from University of Michigan with a BA in Psychology. From the Harvard School of Public Health she received an MS in Health & Social Behavior with a concentration in Women's Health. Anupa was previously a Director of various programs at Safe Horizon (NY, NY), including the Anti-Trafficking program and a program for survivors of war torture and refugee trauma. Anupa also spearheaded Safe Horizon’s reorganization of their Hotlines program, as a consultant. Prior to consulting at Safe Horizon, Anupa was the Assistant Director for the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority (Chicago, IL). Anupa began her post-graduate career as the Education & Outreach Coordinator for the AIDS Clinic at New York Presbyterian Hospital (NY, NY). Anupa lives in Princeton, NJ with her two children and her husband. For more information on The Bag Project, please visit: www.thebagproject.org.