Several months ago, we started the discussion as a group that we wanted to do more than just run together. With our group’s individual talents and each person’s list of important charities and causes, we decided that we could put all of our compassion into helping others. We knew that this would not only give us the opportunity to spend more time together (which we love to do!), but it would also help strengthen our bond as a group. This is when Woo Hoos Give Back was born.
10K Run to Fight Hunger
We brainstormed a list of how we could start and we immediately thought of the perfect event, 10K Run to Fight Hunger, hosted by local runner and friend, Matt Ketterman, is a free run with all donations going to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC. Within a few minutes of meeting Matt and his wife, Amy, anyone can easily see they have a huge passion for ensuring no child should ever go hungry. It’s their dedication to this belief that led them to organize a local 10K and call on all runners and walkers to come out and support the cause. We instantly accepted the invite to attend, started asking our other runner friends (including the Sole Sisters) to join us, and immediately spread the word on this charitable event through our blog and WHC Facebook page.
When fellow Woo Hoo’ers, Daniel, who works at Off N’ Running (the local running store which was the starting/ending location for the run) and Melanie W., who was on the event’s planning committee, were called upon to help with parking cars for over 200 runners, the rest of the crew all jumped in to help. Of course, we had our usual fun while volunteering. We were very animated, swinging our arms in a running motion and pointing to the parking lot across the street from the shop. Our silliness elicited a few waves and beeps from passing cars. We successfully parked all cars, rather quickly, working together easily. The event was a huge success, meeting and exceeding the 25,000 can goal to double that with donations totaling $5, ooo or 50, 000 cans! It was truly awesome to see the support from local running groups and their friends and family. It was a wonderful way to start a Saturday morning, running along the Greenway with fellow runners, all celebrating a wonderful cause.
All Comers Track Meet
Our volunteering momentum continued into this week, when through Eddie Wooten’s running blog, Running Shorts, we read an entry about the Greensboro Pacesetters. The Pacesetters had a need for volunteers to help with a free track meet for children of all ages at the same location we run our speed workouts, Greensboro Day School. The children can compete in various running and field events, from 100m dash to long jump, with all competitors receiving ribbons. We immediately contacted Charlie Brown, who coaches the Pacesetters, for information on how we could help with the meet. How could we not? It sounded like a fun event!
We were tasked with helping with the long jump and javelin throw. We quickly organized ourselves into two groups, Nathan, Katie and Carole took javelin and Nick, and the Melanie’s (J. and W.) took the long jump. In between each running event, the runners would visit the field events. Nathan and Carole even got into helping the little guys with proper javelin throwing technique. It even brought Melanie W. back to her track running days in junior high.
It was such an awesome sight to see kiddos as young as 5 years old competing their hearts out at the various events. We were a little saddened that we hadn’t volunteered earlier for these track meets. It was a great way to end a workday. How could you not smile and cheer louder for a little one sprinting down the straight away? It was the cutest sight to see! Woo Hoo in Training Hayden even competed in some of the races and field events. She tried both field events for the first time ever, ran two sprint events (100 and 200m) and the mile run, where she placed 2nd in her age group! We are looking forward to keeping in touch with the Pacesetters and we will definitely volunteer for future events.
Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you. ~Zig Ziglar