My theme this week has been giving back. On Valentine’s Day my focus was on my marriage and making my husband feel special. Last night I went to a Board of Directors Boot Camp to learn more about skills based volunteer opportunities and serving on a nonprofit/not for profit Board of Directors. Today I had the special opportunity to spend an hour hanging out with some of my training team at Rosemont Elementary running with participants of Shamrock’s Operation Smile Final Mile.
Our training team raised over $1200 to sponsor students at Rosemont Elementary School. It was such a cool experience running with over 50 students, talking to them about running, Disney, and Pokemon. So often money gets donated without the knowledge of how the contribution affected individuals or the organization. This was a special opportunity to not only meet the students who benefited from the generosity of the group, but also to run along side of them!
Last year my first race was the Shamrock 8K. I finished the race and then spent some time at the after party enjoying some beer and music. When I went back to my car I was stopped by a sea of kids in green. I had no idea what was going on, but it took me back to my came counselor and early childhood education days so I stayed and watched them begin their race. It is so different watching a kids race vs an adult race. The kids show their nerves, enthusiasm, and joy. There aren’t too many kids just playing it cool and getting their mind in the game. Their mind is there and they are ready to take off!
This morning was a great experience and I hope to have the opportunity to continue to volunteer with the Final Mile Participants before their big day!
The Operation Smile Shamrock Final Mile is the culmination of an ongoing running and walking program for elementary aged children which promotes lifelong fitness and combats childhood obesity. Children participating in the Final Mile run at school and at home in the weeks preceding the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend to accumulate 25.2 total miles. They then run the “final mile” of their 26.2 mile marathon on race day, finishing in the same place as the Shamrock marathoners who will run the following day. Many children also raise money for the event’s title sponsor, Operation Smile, making it possible for children just like themselves to receive new smiles and to live happier and healthier lives. These young fundraisers learn at an early age the rewards of helping others.