7 Charities to Warm a Runner’s Heart


It’s the end of the year, and maybe your thoughts are turning towards making some last minute donations. Maybe you already have a list of charities that are near and dear to your heart, but if you’re looking for some that have some sort of tie to running (mostly, anyway), I have a few to share with you.

We feel better when we’re doing something for someone else, don’t we?

Team Hoyt
I think most runners have heard of Dick & Rick Hoyt. Dick was the father who ran races pushing his son Rick — over a 1000 races, in fact. Their dedication to each other and to raising awareness about how running could make a difference in the lives of people with health challenges touched the hearts of many, myself included. You can make a donation here.

Runners may joke about the amount of running shoes that they own, but in the end, those shoes with many happy miles on them can still make a difference in other people’s lives. Clothes, too. Never wonder about where to donate your new or used shoes or clothing, or just donate money here.

Run for Hospice
Hospice is definitely near and dear to my heart since both my parents are/were on it. There are many local races for Hospice all over the country, you can donate to your local Hospice, or you can donate to Hospice Foundation of America here.

Fisher House Foundation
Fisher House are homes for military families, free of charge, close to hospitals where their loved ones are getting treatment. You can also donate airline miles so that military families do not have to pay to fly to be near their injured loved ones. Donate here.

Jack’s Fund
So many bloggers on these linkups have had lives touched by skin cancer. No matter how vigilant you are, it’s no secret that running is a sport that has us out in the sun year round. Jack’s Fund is dedicated not just to research, but also to education. You can donate here.

The Dempsey Center
Patrick Dempsey’s mother died from Ovarian Cancer, and the actor has worked tirelessly to help cancer patients and their families. There’s a Dempsey Challenge in the Fall in ME (where Patrick grew up). The Challenge is both a bike race and a road race. The friends we visited this year in ME have tirelessly raised funds for the Center for years; they lost a mother/MIL to cancer and the wife is from ME — which is part of why they retired there.. You can donate here.

Judy’s Team in Training Fundraiser
Last but certainly not least, my friend Judy Lynch’s fundraiser for Team in Training. Judy lost her daughter to blood cancer, and she has since worked tirelessly to raise money for Team in Training — with amazing results. I tried to mostly choose lesser known charities because the big ones often get the larger slice of the pie, but I know Judy and her big heart and how much she has turned a tragedy into an opportunity to do good You can donate here.

Final Thoughts
Some of these charities involve running in some way, or fight things that effect runners — others are just good causes. You can’t go wrong with any of these charities if you want to make a difference.

What is your favorite running charity?
What causes are near and dear to your heart? Why?
Do you look at the charity partners of the races you choose?


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.


27 thoughts on “7 Charities to Warm a Runner’s Heart

  1. What a nice selection of charities, Judy!
    I have signed up for the lottery to get into the Berlin marathon. If we can’t get in, we have the option of signing up for a charity involved in an education project in South Africa.
    This will cost us USD 500.-. It’s expensive, but I think it’s a win-win: we get to enter the race and can sponsor a worthy cause at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Any charity that supports breast cancer research since many of my friends suffered from this disease.

    I usually support my friends’ fundraisers because they are important to me.

    I admit that I give a lot to charities but that’s not why I choose my races.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Both my MIL & mother are survivors. One of my husband’s aunts didn’t make it, though, and she was such a sweet woman.

      I do look at what charities a race supports but it’s just part of the puzzle.


  3. A big charity drive here especially at this time of the year is for school shoes for children. So many children go without even though it seems like such a simple and basic requirement. Another one that I love supporting is sanitary pads for school-going children. So many girls miss several weeks of school a year because they can’t afford pads. Again, somethings so basic.

    Thanks for sharing this Judy – I feel I can and should do more charity work. It’s so easy to turn a blind eye when in reality if we all did a little bit, so much could be achieved.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are great. I have some shoes I need to donate. Last year I brought them to my local running story where they have a donation bin. When I sign up for small races I like to look at what causes they support. I tend to look for organizations that support kids or mental health, but all of these seem amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks so much for putting many of these charities on my radar – all such amazing and worthy causes! One organization I learned more about this year was Back on My Feet – I really love their vision of using running to help people overcome addiction and homelessness.

    Liked by 1 person

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