Smile Sunday: Giving Back

Happy, happy Sunday to you! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break, if you take part in the celebrations. I sure have enjoyed being home with my family and friends, and sharing some tasty meals! I also always love to go hiking at the dunes during break. I do not have  lot of traditions, but this is something I try to make time for. I find that hiking allows me to reflect on the beauty of the earth and appreciate all the small things that I sometimes miss when I am running.

Giving Back
If you are ever in Michigan be sure to check out Warren Dunes. It is my happy place.

I also try to make time to give back to my community as the holiday season approaches, so today I wanted to share a few ideas for you, your family, or your team to give back as well. We are all more than runners, and being able to share our time and efforts with others allows us to reflect on other qualities that we have. I find that when I am feeling down or am in need of something to cheer me up, sharing my time volunteering or do something for someone else makes me feel happy.  Below you will find a list of ideas from some of us here at SRC.

Service Project Ideas

  • More Love Letters: I am so excited to share this wonderful organization with you all today. Have you heard of more love letters before? I heard of the organization through the Campus Cursive group on my campus, and since I didn’t have time to be involved I signed up to join online. For the holiday season, More Love Letters has a 12 day letter writing campaign! How cool is that?! Each day a letter request will be emailed to you for someone who is in need of a little love. You can sign up online here to join in the 12 days of letter writing starting on December 4 and lasting until December 15. Even if you don’t write a letter each day, one letter can make a big difference in someone’s life. Giving back
  • Visit those in a local nursing home: Chat, sing holiday carols, decorate holiday cookies or share some holiday cards with those who may be a little lonely during the holidays. My team and I go to a local nursing home and decorate cookies, which is always a great way to chat and do something different. You can also arrange to bring holiday cards or even do some crafts with those in a nursing home.
  • Read to local children: There are so many children who appreciate having a book read to them. It’s especially fun to read some holiday stories with kids as well. You can organize an event with local schools nearby (check to see if your school is affiliated with the Second and Seven Foundation or connect your school with the program), read in a foster home, or read to those in local shelters (a women’s shelter is a great place to start).
  • Bell ringing: This is a great way to interact with community members and do some family, friend, or team bonding! I have always enjoyed singing songs and ringing bells with my friends.
  • Toy drive: Many Salvation Armies are in need of toys to donate to children in your local area. It can be a fun activity to go with your friends and teammates to look for toys.
  • Mini track clinic: This is a great community service project to involve local children with your team. Set up various kid friendly track event stations along the track and work with the children to learn the activity and cheer them on!
  • Serve meals at a soup kitchen: What better way to give back than to help cook and serve meals at a local soup kitchen!? You can search online to find local soup kitchens near you here.
  • Holiday shop for a family: Shopping for clothes and toys for a family in need has always been a fun activity and challenge for my family. As a family we have shopped for one family and their children. The hardest part is to not go over the budget we set as a family and this is a great way to help others and get holiday gifts for a family as well.

I hope that some of the service project and volunteer ideas above inspire you! Let us know if you complete one of the ideas or if you have any community service projects you always do. We would love to hear and share them on Instagram @strongrunchicks.

Be strong this week and know that you are enough.

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Author: Elena

Runner, positive spirit, and adventurous soul. Lover of tea, the outdoors, picnics, and handmade cards.

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