How Sneakers Can Make a Social Impactposted on April 3, 2019

There are many ways to make a social impact besides merely donating money or volunteering time. The world has become much more socially responsible, and that means that all types of groups, including runners and athletes, have been pushing and creating ways to make things better for others.

Today, we’ve got two great organizations to feature because they’re showing the public what it can do to make a difference in ways that it might not have thought of in earlier times. Runners, get ready because you might want to get involved with one of these groups and do your part in changing someone else’s life.

Back on My Feet

First up is Back on My Feet. Although our group has not partnered with this organization, they’ve been on our radar because of their excellent work, and we want to give them a shout out for what they’re doing for social good. Back on My Feet is a nonprofit that operates in 12 cities in the U.S. Running is used to provide support for people in the communities where they serve, so people who are homeless can find the essential resources they need for employment and housing.

Unfortunately, homelessness exists in the U.S., but it shouldn’t. Back on My Feet has developed an innovative program to revolutionize how people who are homeless can help themselves. People who are homeless or in addiction and treatment facilities are recruited and enter the program committing to run early mornings with a partner for 30 days. Running is an opportunity to “restore confidence, strength, and self-esteem.”

Once they get past the 30 days with at least 90 percent attendance, they enter phase two of the program, which is called Next Steps. It is at this stage that workforce development occurs with financial literacy education and job skills training. Members of the program can also obtain financial aid, which helps in removing barriers to employment and housing by providing work supplies, security deposits and transportation. To date, 70 percent of members are employed and housed, 83 percent maintain employment, there are over 150,000 volunteers and supporters, over 6,500 jobs and homes have been secured, and more than 2,500 members have successfully achieved self-sufficiency.

If you’d like to learn more about this nonprofit and participate, take a look at their Get Involved page.

Girls on the Run

The other group we’d like to feature today has been one of our running group partners in sneaker fundraising. Girls on the Run is a nonprofit that works nationally to help ensure that “every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.” This idea is so incredibly important and vital so that strong girls have the opportunity to become strong women and also leaders in the communities.

Girls on the Run teaches life skills through interactive lessons and running games twice per week. Girls participate in a curriculum that is guided by coaches who have been certified by Girls on the Run. The girls learn to understand themselves, value their relationships and teamwork, and discover how they connect with the world and shape it.

The organization uses running to inspire and motivate the girls, which encourages them to prioritize their health and fitness while building self-confidence. At the end of the program season, the girls and their running buddies complete a 5K running event, which helps them understand goal attainment and achievement. Meaning, even the “impossible” becomes possible.

If you think that you’d like to learn more about Girls on the Run and see how you can help, look at their Get Involved page.

Running and Sneakers to Make an Impact

Both Back on My Feet and Girls on the Run are fantastic organizations that use running as a core element of their program to make a social impact. If you’re a runner, you can make the miles that you’re running count even more not only for you but also for someone else. Take a look at these two groups to discover how you can start today and make a more significant impact in your community, or also with micro-entrepreneurs living in developing nations around the world and seeking ways to help themselves out of poverty.


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