Why I’m Running with CaringBridge
I have the privilege of running with CaringBridge on their fundraising team this year at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. I’m excited for the opportunity, as I have learned a lot about this organization in the past few months.
I’ve written before about my audacious running goal for this year. I know many of you have similar goals. Pushing yourself to places you didn’t think you could go is part of what makes running so exciting. Spending time focusing on what you are eating, how you are sleeping, strength training and long runs are all part of the process of the marathon.
It’s all extremely self focused however.
Out of the blue, a friend emailed asking if I knew anyone who might want to run with the CaringBridge team. Due to a variety of complicating factors, I had waited to long to register for TCM. I was in the process of exploring the plethora of awesome fundraising teams when he contacted me. After doing a little research on CaringBridge, I knew this was the team I wanted to join.
Focusing on your own running goals isn’t bad. However, what if you took a step back to consider how those goals might also be used to support an organization doing great things? It has been an unexpected (and awesome) part of my training this time around.
If you’re not familiar with CaringBridge, here is a little information, and a few reasons why I would love your support as I run this year.
What is Caring Bridge?
CaringBridge is a social network for people during times of medical difficulty. CaringBridge offers free personalized websites to people facing serious medical conditions, hospitalization, undergoing medical treatment and/or recovering from a significant accident, illness, injury or procedure. These sites allow you to share updates, photos and videos, as well as connect with friends, family and others who care and want to help in your time of need.
The sharing features allow you to keep everyone up-to-date with journal entries. It is basically a blog, but without any of the technical hurdles of setting it up. You can easily share the latest with people who care and want to support you.
There is also a spot to offer words of encouragement. Family and friends can provide messages of love and hope through a guestbook. After spending time looking at several public pages, I’m in awe of how great the community of support is on there! Over 1/2 a million people visit the site per day.
You can also coordinate everyday help. A “planner” enables you to organize and schedule tasks such as “delivering meals, providing childcare and arranging transportation.”
Because CaringBridge is hyper focused on providing encouragement and communication to those during a time of medical emergency, it provides only the essential elements necessary to make that happen.
Why I’m Running with CaringBridge
I hope I never have to use CaringBridge. In a perfect world, no one I know would ever get sick, or need to be hospitalized. Because life doesn’t work that way, I’m glad something like this exists.
When I started Minneapolis Running in 2012, I did so to offer encouragement, motivation and connect local Twin Cities runners. It was also a place for other runners to share their journey. We have many guest bloggers, and I regularly receive emails/tweets/Facebook messages from readers saying how they appreciate the post someone has shared. Together we are trying to motivate Minnesotans to become stronger runners while living happier lives.
The mission of CaringBridge is – To amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier. I resonate with this because they are using technology to build a community and rally around a cause bigger than any one person.
They merge technology and communication to help people in times of crisis. Technology can often be a barrier, or hindrance to effective communication. Used properly, it gets out of the way, enabling us to do what we really want to do – connect with others in meaningful ways.
Make a Donation
CaringBridge is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The services they offer are totally free. They rely on donations from people like you. I’m running this year’s Twin Cities Marathon to help raise money for CaringBridge. If you’d like to donate to my page specifically, please do so here.Donate Now!
You can also make a donation to any CaringBridge site. As you prepare for your final weeks of marathon training, I would highly encourage you to consider donating to help this organization continue to provide a great communication tool for friends and families in times of crisis.
Have you used CaringBridge in the past? What has been your experience?