Happy Birthday!!!

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Today is a special day! Today, the young lady that is arrowed, turns 14! The above picture was sent by a friend of Jayme & Tony’s to them because they noticed that M was now in the transition house that she’ll be in till she’s officially adopted by them.

My understanding is that she’s unaware of who or when the adoption will officially take place and Jayme and Tony are still waiting on some documents, etc. to go through to begin the next steps but the fact she’s moved to this location is another step in the right direction for her and them.

So today, HER BIRTHDAY, let’s keep pushing with our fundraising so that we can help them push this forward even quicker! Let’s support them and her on this special day that will be her last without a family!

Visit the link below to donate now.

Runners Doing Good 4 Dee Family Adoption

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It’s Time To Go Big

“Believe Big. The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief.”

David J. Schwartz
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We’re at $2,180 raised so far from 15 different states!

Good morning everyone! I hope this finds you well. It is with great excitement that we announce our efforts to kick this fundraiser up a notch!

We have a very unique opportunity to help the Dees in a much bigger way and it’s why we’re putting the call out and attempting to kick this into another gear. Just like the title of this post mentions, it’s time to GO BIG! And how do we do that?

With a MATCHING OPPORTUNITY! The Dees have a chance with several different grants to double their money. They have $2500 matches, $3000 matches, and $5,000 matches!

The problem with such a great opportunity like that is that they’ve done a tremendous amount already and so the proverbial well is getting a little shallow from their current base of friends, family, and coworkers that they’ve leaned into for help along their adoption journey.

A match is a wonderful thing but when you’ve asked the same people to give so many times, it’s difficult to raise those dollars again and again. That’s where we come in!

We’ve taken some of the pressure off by organizing this fundraiser and by expanding the circle of potential donors and in the process, we’ve raised $2,180 for them so far. That’s a big number for a few reasons. One of the biggest reasons that’s significant is because we started this fundraiser earlier than we normally would, December 1st. So our kick-off coincided with the finish of the holiday season and then January when everyone is still licking their wounds from all of the spending they just did.

Now as we begin February, we’re still a month earlier than we’d normally begin a fundraiser but it also gives us a great opportunity to reassess where we’re at in this process and how we can refine it and expand what we’re doing. After hearing about their matching opportunities, it became crystal clear what we needed to do.

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We have yet to give them what we’ve raised so far. After a conversation with Jayme, we have been given permission to take whatever we can raise, and give that towards one of those grants so that we can double that money. It makes all the sense in the world to lean into an opportunity like that where we can make our fundraising most impactful and these matching grants will do just that.

SO, we’re going to push this even harder going forward and we’re asking for your support. Whether it’s a $5 donation from a state that’s blank on our map or a $25 donation from a past donor who hasn’t given this year, or for any of our donors so far, know that your dollars will go significantly farther than when we set out on this fundraising adventure this year.

We will aim for the $5,000 matching opportunity first. IF things keep rolling in, we’ll aim at the others after that. If we can turn $5,000 into $10,000 and have support for more, then we’d be out of this world thrilled but I think starting off aimed towards that $5,000 knowing that it was our original goal, which we’ve hit nearly every year for the last several, could now lead to our largest fundraising total ever is all we need to push this harder than we ever have.

With that, please visit our fundraising link that’s listed below and help get us on that path as quickly as possible!

Runners Doing Good 4 Dee Family Adoption

Thank you to all who have given so far, to all those considering, and to all who will end up giving. We appreciate you so much.

Sincerely,

Gabe and Runners Doing Good

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Dee Family Update

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From Jayme & Tony Dee:

“Thank you all so much for your prayers yesterday! THEY WORKED! Our dossier was officially reviewed and approved by the adoption committee! The approval of our dossier means Colombia approves us to adopt a child from Colombia, the next step is where we need more prayers….

We are hoping to get our referral this week. Our referral is where Colombia officially says, “Yes, you can adopt HER”, its the official green light to move forward (after we submit a letter of acceptance)! Some of the kids/ files need updated and if that is the case with her, we will have to wait longer for our referral. 😬

So: Pray her file is updated to the required specifications. Pray Colombia sends us a referral for HER! Also, she may be moving at the end of the week to the home where older children live, many of them as they are awaiting their families. She probably won’t know yet that its us, or that she is even being adopted, so pray for her to have a smooth transition in the move and that God places peace on her heart.

Do you see the additional green checkmarks below?!?! EEK! So exciting!” – Jayme Dee

More to come on what we’re continuing to do to support them but for now, please continue to pray for them and if you can, please visit the link below to support them now:

Runners Doing Good For Dee Family Adoption!

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RDG4DFA: 1 Month Update!

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It’s been a heck of a month to say the least. The last several years we’ve been blessed to have had a very generous fellow runner match our donations for a month and we’ve been able to cross $3,000 in a month because of him.

What that, obviously, means is that we’ve been able to raise approximately $1,500 in a month with private donations as a kick-off. We’re truly blessed that this person is a friend and in our corner.

That said, we’ve not put anything together with them this year because the window was tight and we needed to get some funds lined up as soon as possible so that we could ensure that expenses are covered and funds could flow to the Dee’s.

So with that, I’m excited to announce that we’ve crossed the $2,000 mark! We’ve never reached that number without a sponsorship or matching promotion giving folks the shot in the arm needed to coordinate their giving around a certain period of time.

What a great first month! So here’s a huge THANK YOU to all who have given and to those that haven’t, please consider doing so. Every dollar given helps support the team and the Dee’s as we look to give them a major boost in their fundraising efforts so that they can bring their soon to be adopted daughter from Colombia, home.

Visit the following link to give:

Runners Doing Good 4 Dee Family Adoption

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Merry Christmas Update!!!

It keeps getting GREENER!!!

Hello everyone! I’m back for one last update before Christmas and then it’ll be silent on social media till the 27th.

We are happy to report that we have now received donations from Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia! 12 States so far!

That’s pretty awesome because I know that there are states we’ve gotten in the past that haven’t chimed in yet that I know that will. Off of the top of my head, I know that we have the ability to easily add donations from 4-5 more to get us approaching 20 states. We’ll definitely need more help to get us to halfway, which is a small goal. We’ve never gotten that many before. If we could pull that off, that’d be incredible.

In total, those 12 states have equaled $1,655 given! Beyond that, due to some things that Jenn has done on the side, I know there’s at least another $100 to add to that list so we’re really $1,755+ right now.

The last week has been quieter but that make sense. We are, as you are too, have been busy with Christmas and holiday preparations but I have a challenge that I’m ready to issue.

I might be a lot of things with this, Found of the Team, Team Captain, runner, fundraiser, etc. but I’d never say that the runner part has been particularly great. I’ve run well enough to complete the effort but it’s been more about the fundraising. The fundraising part won’t change but 7 years after this has all started and looking at our 8th campaign, I’m willing to throw a challenge out there that puts a bigger emphasis on being the best running version of myself as I can be and part of that is putting in miles in a way that I’ve never done.

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For instance:

How?!?

Let’s face it, it’s a miracle I’ve been able to pull this off. I’m not sure if I should be amazed, surprised, or sheepish about it. 2018, I was cruising with my running and had to really taper back when I hurt my hip. I was seeing split times in numbers I’d never seen before. Seriously, for me hearing high 7’s and 8’s in my splits, it was incredible but once I was injured, it just wasn’t there. I’ve talked about that night run in northern Michigan where it just throbbed and ached so badly that I wanted to quit the run. Artie wouldn’t let that happen. Again…never heard anyone that chipper at 3 in the morning but I digress.

2019 was definitely better but I never got that type of speed back. I guess you could say I was in better shape, pain free, and at a normal base for myself. The same runs I took were faster than 2018 but again, I should have been faster than a guy with a hip problem.

2020 was a wash and honestly, I was half depressed with things. I was at home for nearly 6 months of the year and I had all of these great thoughts of running more than I ever had and I got a bike and even dabbled in that a bit but as you can see, it just didn’t manifest itself in much.

2021, was a great return to Ragnar but my mileage wasn’t good. We all were still struggling with our running and getting enough mileage. Outside of our really good runners and those blessed with youthful legs, the rest of us struggled mightily with getting our mileage in. Experience gave us the confidence that we could pull it off but could we have been better? No doubt. Were we ready for our first dose of trails? Not really. It was definitely a survive and advance type of mentality.

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2022 won’t be that way. I have visions of considerably higher mileage totals in the coming year and enough so that I’m willing to commit to something:

IF……..

We can get to $2500 by January 1st, before we finish Ragnar Trail Michigan, I will run 1 mile for every $10 raised to support the Dee Family Adoption. That could equal a lot of running for me but if we could pull that off, I’ll be thrilled to put in the mileage.

So with that….LET’S GET AFTER IT!

To give, we have 2 ways:

GoFundMe: Tony and Jayme Dee GoFundMe Adoption Fundraiser

Facebook: Runners Doing Good 4 Dee Family Adoption

Thank you all for your love, support, consideration, and generosity and may you all, from our team to your family, have a very Merry Christmas!

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On Caring

Joy is rejoicing in another’s progress…

Fulton Sheen
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As we keep rolling with our fundraiser to support the Dees. I’ve been overcome with “stuff” getting in the way and when I think of how to continue to promote this in the middle of the holidays, the “stuff” of the season keeps bogging me down.

It’s a beautiful time of the year lends itself to work holiday parties and get togethers as well as family Christmas reunions and that doesn’t even count obligations within your own families. With children, as many of you know, there are winter sports, Christmas plays, and the expectations, fancies, and wants of Christmas.

It can be magical, but it also can be exhausting. I’ve had a few weeks here now where half the week, I’m not sure that I’ve seen the sun but for an hour each day. It’s felt like a blur. So when I hear something that’s inspirational, it shines brightly and outshines the darkness of the season.

For me, this past Sunday, the pastor at my church talked a lot about “caring.” It focused on how caring is far more than just being nice. Being nice is being nice but we are called to care deeply for others because caring is an act. It is an act of acknowledging someone’s struggle and working to make it better. It is looking at someone and seeing their pain and their struggle and doing something tangible to take away whatever may be making them miserable. And when whatever is burdening them is gone, we rejoice not just in our accomplishment in helping but because that burden, that weight, and those struggles are taken from them.

It got me thinking alot about what Runners Doing Good has tried to do in the past and what we’re attempting to do in a more direct manner this year with Tony and Jayme Dee and the adoption they’re pursuing.

For a long time now, we’ve worked to raise money for causes that were amazing organizations within our community but for us, the involvement was little more than running a crazy race and because of that effort, we’ve been able to raise a lot of money. That’s not insignificant, however, where that money when, how it was applied, and who, specifically, it impacted…those decisions were made by the wonderful organizations we partnered with.

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With our campaign 2022 campaign to benefit Tony & Jayme Dee, the impact we’re attempting to make is one that has exponential positive repercussions. They have a mountain to climb, or more appropriately, raise, to make this dream come true but it’s more than just a dream, it’s an answer to a call.

If you read about them in our previous article: Dee Family Adoption: In Their Own Words, you know that this isn’t just something that they decided to do one day. It was something that came to them, that they’ve prayed about, that they’ve discerned if this was right for their family on multiple levels, and despite all of the challenges that an International Adoption presents, they’ve said yes. It hasn’t been easy either but then again, nothing worthwhile generally ever is but they’ve been steadfast in their faith that this is the right path for their family as well as for this young lady that they’re looking to adopt.

For us, what we’re attempting to do is an act of care that helps them raise that mountain of money so that they can pay for all of this. That is a monumental challenge in itself and with the abilities that this team has shown over the last 7 years, we’re confident that we’ll produce. But it’s more than just raising money.

When we talk about an act of care acknowledging someone’s struggles and working to lighten their burden, it’s so much more than just throwing money at the problem. Yes, the end game is to help them hit that goal but in a more big picture way, this is about taking something or things off of their list of things to do.

Over the last several months, I’ve seen and heard of them absolutely hustling and grinding to make this happen. They’ve organized multiple garage sales, sold goods at a couple craft bazaars, poured hot chocolate at a holiday parade, partnered with a local popcorn company for a sale, and most recently took orders for nearly 250 apple dumplings that they made and are delivering themselves.

Apple Dumplings….How yummy are these going to be?!?!?!?!

As you can see, the burden isn’t just monetary but in the work and effort to make it all happen. When they hit their goal, it certainly won’t be for a lack of effort. There will be no “lucking” into this. They will have put blood, sweat, and I’m sure some tears into making this happen.

It’s why CARING, in this case, means seeing that effort and supporting them through trying to raise money, as we’ve done so successfully in the past, so that the burden of operating another garage sale, another round of cooking dumplings, sitting at a craft show for a weekend, and every other thing that they’ve had to do already, is lifted. The hope is that whatever we can raise for them can eliminate a few of the things they’d have to do without our help.

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Caring for, supporting them, and helping to lift some of the burdens upon them also has other repercussions because it brings caring, hope, and love to a girl that’s aging out of her country’s foster system.

Think of yourself as a teen. Now think of yourself feeling unwanted during this sensitive, confusing, and complex time of your life? How many of us would have gone down a darker path if we didn’t have the support of a great family? Have many of us have benefited because we had a warm home, clothes to wear, a good education, and a family that loves us? Many of us have and it’s something that no child should go without.

Supporting and caring for the Dees means that we’re supporting their caring of this girl too. It means they’re lifting her burdens by bringing her home and providing her with a life that that only the love and care of a family can give. It means she’s is lifted up and put on a path that is tremendously more positive than if she were emancipated and left out on her own someday soon.

By supporting this campaign, you will support both a family and impact a girl’s trajectory in life. Join us.

Visit Dee Family Adoption to give today!

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Week 1 Update!!

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We’re a day late posting this but so far, the fundraiser to benefit the Dee’s is off to a great start. In fact, we couldn’t be happier with how it’s going. Our best month that we’ve ever had was a shade over $3,000 and that was with a match included in that so really it was a $1,500 month, approximately.

Our first week between our Facebook and GoFundMe pages? $1,240!!!!

We are most definitely well on our way. We received a couple of donations last night that gave us a pretty good boost too and covered a couple of states.

Counting those states, our map looks like this:

It’s getting GREENER!!!
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As we mentioned, we’re well on our way. I won’t tell you what our total is right now but my expectation is that we’ll be pushing $2,000 or more by the time we give our 2 week update.

If you would like to support the effort, please visit our GoFundMe page below:

Dee Family Adoption – Go Fund Me Page

Have a great week everyone and we’ll be back next Wednesday with our next update.

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Dee Family Adoption: In Their Own Words

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“We, (Jayme and Tony) have been married for almost 17 years. In 2018, God laid it on our hearts to pursue adoption while we were serving on a mission trip in Belize. We travel 1-2 times per year with Jayme’s nursing students serving in mountain/jungle regions of Belize. On this particular trip, our team stayed on the grounds of a girls’ home. All the girls in the home were removed from their families for various reasons. We spent our time connecting and building relationships with the girls while we stayed there. Each child we met held a special place in our hearts and as we were excited as we returned in subsequent years to continue to interact with the same group of girls.

On a specific trip in April of 2019, Jayme had a deep emotional conversation with one young woman in particular. The children’s home was closing per government regulations and the girls had all been told that their immediate future was unknown. It was at that moment when God confirmed in our hearts that adoption was a path he wanted us to take. We jumped in with both feet and were so excited at the potential of adding another sweet girl into our lives (one who we already knew and loved!).

Not many adoption agencies work with Belize so we found an attorney in Georgia who had facilitated multiple Belizean adoptions in the past. We started our adoption process on this child’s 15th birthday, knowing we were in a time crunch to have the pieces in place that we needed prior to her 16th birthday.

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God was so faithful, taught us to trust Him deeply and showed us we could lean into Him more closely than we had ever experienced. Throughout the process, we heard Him speak in many very intimate ways, which confirmed that we were stepping forward in faith on a path he had laid. However, we know that His ways are not our ways and His path for us doesn’t always lead where we expect it to, but we are comforted in the fact that He is in control!

When we learned our adoption journey was halted, we were heartbroken. We were told from our attorney in Belize that the child was being pursued for adoption through a domestic Belizean adoption, therefore the door for us to adopt her had closed. Through our grief, we knew that God opened up that space in our hearts because He intended to fill it!

In September of 2019 we had asked a question in an adoption group that came to mind as we wrestled with our grief. Through that Facebook group, we met a wonderful friend who shared with us about her orphan hosting journey with Project 143. As we researched this organization and the idea of orphan hosting, we knew that this is the next step in God’s plan for us.

Project 143 provides an avenue that orphans can come to the US for 5 weeks and experience the love of a family and have the opportunity to be “seen”. After hosting, these children have a higher probability of being adopted- most of these children are between the ages of 9-15. This age group of children are generally less likely to be adopted and that broke our hearts, knowing the desire we had to give an older child a family.

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We had the amazing opportunity to host our new daughter in the Spring of 2021.  Hosting was originally supposed to happen in Summer of 2020 but due to COVID, our hosting was cancelled twice. The time came and we were so thankful to have her here for 3 weeks in March/April 2021. “M” acclimated well into our family, interacting well with each of our children. “M” enjoyed riding bikes, playing in the yard, dancing, going to the zoo and aquarium, swimming in a hotel pool, bowling, cooking, sharing family meals, meeting extended family, sitting in the hot tub, going to a trampoline park, playing games at an arcade, going to church,
and watching movies.

In conversations with our children after hosting, each child indicated that they are excited to add “M” to our family and will accept her as a sister. Our girls are elated to learn more about her and get to know her more when she joins our family. We have shared our adoption plans with extended family and they are fully supportive of her joining our family. While “M” was in our home for hosting, she was able to meet both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Tony’s sister has adopted multiple times from Bulgaria, including a child with significant special needs so adoption is not foreign to our family. Over the years that have followed the heartbreak from our first adoption attempt, God has
shown us that He had a purpose for our experience. He softened our hearts to adoption for a child that we already loved and gave us many signs and experiences to deepen our trust in Him. He laid the foundation of that deep trust to use as a building block throughout our current adoption process and we are so thankful for His sovereignty.

We hope and pray that God will work miracles throughout our adoption process, making it smooth, fast and in alignment with His plan for our family.”

To donate visit the GoFundMe link here: Dee Family Adoption GoFundMe

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RDG for Dee Family Adoption

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Today’s announcement is all about choices. It’s about choosing to step out and do this on our own, standing on our own 2 feet for the first time. It’s a bit risky. It’s a bit scary. It’s definitely exciting, though, because for us, it allows us to come out, be clearer and bolder in our mission than we ever have and that allows us to, hopefully, make an impact in a way that we’ve not in any year up to this point.

With that, we are excited to introduce the Dee Family to you: Tony & Jayme Dee and their 3 daughters. I have had the great fortune of knowing these two for the better part of 20 years. They are a wonderful family and it’s been a blessing to know them.

Tony was actually a runner of ours in 2016 & endured the blast furnace that Ragnar Relay Chicago was that year. He was a major contributor to our campaign to benefit Kate’s Kart. That’s just another reason why we’re excited to support them as he’s one of our own.

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As a family, they’ve felt a call for awhile, to adopt internationally. They discerned that call and CHOSE to accept it but they’re not just adopting a little baby. The impact they’ll have for their family and their new daughter goes beyond a child’s infancy. They plan on adopting a young girl from Colombia who is aging out of the foster system. To be a young teen who could be emancipated, at some point, because she wasn’t wanted because she’s too “old”, and left to the world is scary and dangerous for that matter.

It could be devastating to such a young person. With them, her life’s trajectory will be altered beyond measure but to get there, it doesn’t come without a considerable cost.

The Dees are attempting to raise more than $35,000 to cover the cost and are about half way there but it’s also come with a ton of stress, as you’d imagine, in how to accomplish such a large goal.

As always, we’re going to take on another Ragnar Relay. We are firm believers that we’d not have had the success by just running a 5k. A team relay where we all can share in the suffering of the run as well as the fundraising effort is so much bigger and effective. When you have a great cause and family like this to support, we couldn’t be more excited about what we can accomplish.

That’s where RDG comes in. Our last 3 campaigns have netted more than $5,000 a piece. If we can do that again, then we can provide them with a great boost that, while it might not get them the rest of the way to their goal, maybe it helps speeds up the process of bring their world and hers together a bit quicker.

So with that, this #GivingTuesday, we’re officially kicking off our running and fundraising campaign, both on Facebook and through GoFundMe so that those that aren’t on Facebook can donate as well.

Please consider this your invitation to support this wonderful family and their dream to add a new daughter to their family and by doing so, set this girl on a lifepath that is drastically altered for the positive.

Thank you all for your past support. We’d certainly not have been able to accomplish all that we have without you all.

Sincerely,

Gabe Arnold – Founder

Runners Doing Good

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On Choices

“It is our choices, gentlemen, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Ted Lasso quoting John Wooden.

First off, I love Ted Lasso. Period. Moving on… 🙂

Secondly, choices come with consequences. I can want or have a desire to run a half marathon but if I don’t CHOOSE to train for it, I won’t have the ability to run it. My ability at the beginning is far less important than the ACTIVE CHOICE to train for it.

Headed into 2020, Runners Doing Good had some choices to make and we did. The idea was to eventually strive towards formalizing the team as a nonprofit so that we could contribute more directly to causes, people, and charities however we wanted.

We scaled the team back to start anew with some core members so that our baseline expenses could be as minimized as possible with the hope that if things went as swimmingly as we hoped, that we could expand again someday soon.

In many ways, I think we became a leaner and better team because of that choice. Because of the pandemic, it certainly made what we did far easier. It’s why we’re choosing to run the same strategy back out in 2022 but with a few select choices:

#1 – We’re choosing to do this without a net. If we want to move towards operational independence. Now is the time. Our hope is to receive some help from past sponsors but if they can’t support us because we’re not a nonprofit yet, it’s understandable. We’ll work to earn their support when we’re set up.

#2 – We’re choosing to promote us on our terms. Since our inception, we’ve always operated within the confines of the cause of choice that we were working to benefit and oftentimes didn’t receive a ton of support in that effort. If we are going to have to work hard to promote what we’re doing anyways, it’ll be nice to be doing it our way this year.

#3 – We’re choosing exactly where the money is going this year and it will be clear. We have no doubt that the organizations we’ve fundraised for have been good stewards of the money that our efforts produced. That said, when we worked on behalf of Kate’s Kart, they never told us how many books our money purchased and only in one year did NeighborLink tell us what project our fundraisers covered. This won’t be just supporting a good organization this year. When you give to our 2022 campaign, it will be abundantly clear where those dollars are going. That’s extremely important and a choice that we’ll be making every year going forward.

#4 – Our choice of cause this year will be unique and emotional because we’ve never approached anything like this before. This is will not be us helping an organization. It will directly impact 2 worlds by helping bring them together and both will, for certain, be better for it.

Finally, the last choice, #4, is very much an intentional choice. In the past, we’ve sought to reach for the stars with our fundraising and it’s always felt like whatever we raised was pure gravy for the organizations we’ve worked to benefit. Beyond that, it’s always felt like because we were something “extra” for them, if it didn’t work, they weren’t out anything.

With #4, if it goes like every other year has, the upside to this is that 2022 is a stepping off point for Runners Doing Good as a group. There will be proof of concept that we can take this plan together, which has always been aided by past organizations help, and bring it to fruition on our own.

Good Lord willing, it’ll be the official start of something amazing and we’ll be able to spread that love in a thousand directions before we ever call it quits.

So, to follow along, please come back on Sunday at 6 pm when our official announcement is made!

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