Forrest Gumping for Charity

Forrest Gumping for Charity

Running for charity is nothing new. From 5K’s to marathons, people have been connecting pledges and running to raise awareness and dollars for various causes for more than a century. Before the advent of social media and easy and effective advertisement and communication through the internet, though, these events all had to have sponsors, organizers, set dates–they had to be, well, events. In today’s world, this is not quite so true.

What is true, however, is that in order to get people’s attention in the current online environment, you have to be doing something exceptional. You can’t just be running a 5k, or even running a marathon. You have to be overcoming some sort of great personal adversity, placing some sort of punishing condition on yourself or, yes, just looking really good while you do it. Or, you can just up the scale and–instead of running a marathon–run from one end of the country to the other.

People have been running across America since 1909, but, as highlighted in this New York Times article, it is a feat that has been becoming more and more popular in recent years. Between ten and twenty people a year are completing this massive undertaking, and quite a few of them are using it as an opportunity to raise money for a cause that they believe in.

One such person is Adam Kimble, who had been participating in races and ultramarathons for years prior to the undertaking. In 2015, he ran from coast to coast–more than 2,500 miles–in just 60 days in support of impossible2possible, a charity which sponsors events to get children and teens active and push their limits. In those 60 days and 2500 miles, he faced many hardships, but managed to raise over $2,000 for the charity.

Every year, more and more people are attempting this monumental feat, and social media has made it easier and easier to connect with an audience and turn their personal challenge into an opportunity to raise money for charity. With regular updates on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other social media site, it’s possible for anyone to gather followers and raise money and awareness for a cause close to their heart if they are dedicated enough and willing to put in the work.

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