Season of Giving: Runners’ Edition


It’s a beautiful time of year when many of us reflect with gratitude on what we have, and open our hearts to what we can give. Isn’t it beautiful when our giving, passion, and compassion meet? Here are some ideas to bless others during this season in a few running-related ways.

Thank you for taking the time to reflect on the season of giving, a runners’ edition.


As consumers, we can choose where our dollars go, so why not buy from a company who gives back?

Photo Courtesy of Clara Cookies

Clara Cookies (“protein cookies for adoption”): Need a stocking stuffer and want to do good in the world? Clara Cookies was created by athletes for athletes with the motivation of an important cause: adoption. They are packed with protein for meal replacement, fuel during endurance races, or healthy calories for recovery. Their Christmas ordering is ready online. Wrapped boxes of 1 dozen for $24 or Stocking Stuffers with 3 cookies (all 3 peanut butter or combo) for $6.  Free pick up in Rockford or delivery anywhere in the US lower 48.

Balega Socks: Balega uses proceeds from running sock purchases to help disabled and disadvantaged children in South Africa, they work with Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP), and help veterans and the homeless to get back on their feet. 

Krochet Kids– Every product made by Krochet Kids is signed by the maker and helps to break the cycle of poverty. They are known for their hats, but they have other wearable products as well.

Photo taken from Krochet Kids Blog.

Please comment below with more brands/products that give back!


Kyle being interviewed for this week’s podcast.

As Kyle Cutler, race director for the LMCU Bridge Run in Grand Rapids, shared with us, events like road races simply don’t happen without an army of volunteers (by the way, you can hear that conversation on our podcast by checking out episode 9, to be released Thursday, 12/5!).

If you’re looking for a place to start, we encourage you to begin with some of your local races. The small ones often have the hardest time garnering help. You can also look for events that offer things like donations to your school’s track team (for example). LMCU Bridge Run is one of those such events (we’ve run it), as well as the Amway Riverbank Run.


When you open closet doors, do old running shoes tumble out? Let’s put them to good use! Running shoe drives and collections are fairly common, and it isn’t hard to just dump a box of shoes into a barrel.

If you are in the Grand Rapids area, you can drop used shoes to Endurance Rehabilitation in Ada, Michigan to as a collection for World Mission Work. 

Another common opportunity for donating old shoes (not just running shoes) is Souls 4 Souls (find locations by visiting their website).


If you’re looking to run for more than a personal best, consider running for a cause or a person. Running more races can be a way to give back.

You can fundraise toward a goal with great initiatives like World Vision, Beja’s Peoples Project, or Team Orphans.  Some events promote teams fundraising, like Gazelle Girl Charity Runners.

Photo courtesy of Gazelle Sports

Coming up in Grand Rapids is a festive race called The Whoville 5k. The event supports the The Gazelle Sports Foundation and Northville Track and Field. You can find Gazelle Sports Events here

No matter where you live, you can find a race that gives back to the American Cancer Society. You can search your zip code. International friends, please feel free to post below for foundations to support where you live. 

Photo taken at Meijer Festival of Races 5k of Team Agar

myTEAM TRIUMPH is created for all people with disabilities who would like to participate in an endurance event but wouldn’t be able to do it alone. You can volunteer to push or pull a “Captain” for a triathlon or road race. 

Another great way to give back is to volunteer with youth. There are lots of opportunities. In Grand Rapids, you can volunteer through Girls on the Run and No Surrender Running Club.

As you well know, there are many amazing ways to give back as a runner. Please use the comment section to contribute and help us spread the word!

2 replies
  1. Katey Hearth
    Katey Hearth says:

    Love this!! Thank you guys so much for highlighting so many great causes. I’ve lived in West Michigan for approximately 10 years now and had never heard of Clara Cookies or the No Surrender Running Club. Thank you for teaching me about these causes & for including S4J (the Beja people’s project) in your lineup!

    • admin
      admin says:

      It’s a great problem, in our opinion – having so many different ways to be charitable! One of the many things we love about West Michigan!

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