We as runners are accustomed to being sore, tired and occasionally in pain due to the very nature of our athletic endeavors. Very few of us would trade this odd but exhilarating experience for anything else.
There are, however, individuals who are sore, tired, in hunger and suffer pain that are not due to running but to the unfortunate circumstances of their economic and social circumstances. As those blessed with the ability to devote our time to reaching our physical peak and conditioning, we have a unique opportunity to merge our athletic quests with a truly worthy philanthropic mission.
This year’s Orange County Marathon will be held May 6th and will include a range of events from 5k, half marathon and full marathon – a rich diversity for many types of runners from beginners to old veterans going for new PR’s. Whichever category you may fit into you can make a difference in the lives of a family or individual in need of help through your running by joining up under Team S.P.I.N. this year.
S.P.I.N. (Serving People In Need) is an Orange County based charity whose mission is to provide homeless, working poor families and individuals to permanent housing, substance abuse recovery and self sufficiency.
Founded in 1987, it has been able to aid those looking for a home and stability through its programs such as the Guided Assistance to Permanent Placement Housing Program which allows those who are working to receive assistance to keeping their residence. They also work with those suffering from substance abuse and the homeless through rehabilitation programs and street services to the abject poor.
S.P.I.N.’s purpose is to give those in need the aid to be independent and self reliant with new skills and be free of needing any further assistance. Ninety-two percent of funds go straight to clients so any fiscal assistance will be assured of getting to people rather than being taken up by service costs.
You as a runner – or for that matter a walker – can help by running this year’s OC Marathon under Team S.P.I.N. (http://www.crowdrise.com/teamspinoc). By running under Team S.P.I.N. you may raise money through your registration and donation to the organization or fundraise by having others donate through your running effort. Either way the help is felt to those who are unsure of where they will sleep or find their next meal.
If you are considering participating in this year’s OC Marathon, please consider joining under Team S.P.I.N. and know that during these difficult times those who are more fortunate and lucky to be running for fun could be the positive change for our fellow man and neighbors.
Turn your fire and determination in running to a cause that matches your drive and find that it is worth it in the knowledge that a family has a warm place to lay their heads.