Runners helping Houston: 5 ways to help while breaking a sweat

“There are no politics in eight feet of water, there are human beings”

-Queen Sandra Bullock

It’s been almost a week since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, but just one week down to a long, difficult journey to rebuild.

Texas is one of my favorite places. While my love is specific to the times I’ve had Austin, the whole big state holds a XXL Texas-sized place in my heart. I even have a trip planned there for my birthday in a few weeks. The news of this disaster, no matter the location, struck me, as I’ve sure it did many of us. My first reaction was, what can I do? What do they need?

I’m so pleased that there is no shortage of options to contribute to the relief in Houston. And lucky for us movers and shakers, we don’t have to run far to make a difference, but we totally can if we want to.

Here are a few actionable options to contribute to the relief efforts:

1. FleetFeet Donations 

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You know that box of used marathon training shoes that have maxed out their mileage, but still are super cute? Yeah, it’s time for them to take a trip to Texas. FleetFeet stores around the country are taking donations for gently-used shoes to be sent to Houston. Chances are your friends and neighbors also have at least a few pairs ready for donation. Having a Labor Day hang? When your pals say “Anything I can bring?” say “Yes, actually, I’d love a pair of your old sneaks.”

2. #RunForTexas Virtual Race 

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Huge shoutout to Kelly Vigil, better known as @MoreMilesMoreFun and Beth Ann from @live.love.run.repeat for the “Why didn’t I think of that!” and “I’m so glad she did” moments of the week. These ladies launched the #RunForTexas Virtual Race with a 5k and 10k option. The races costs $5 and $10 respective to their distance and come with an add-on option for a lapel pin. Participants will also receive promo codes to running stores and brands for the running haul (we’ll inevitably be doing anyway) – with proceeds benefiting the Houston relief. So here’s the deal with this one: you’re training for a race, you’re definitely going to be logging 3 or 6 miles this weekend, and if you’re like me, you’ll probably be stopping for water/Gatorade along the route, adding up to an easy $5. Just grab your water bottle from home, and donate to #RunForTexas. Easy, peasy.

3. Amazon

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Something I look for when donating funds to charities or relief efforts is knowing exactly what my dollar bill is doing. Amazon takes out the guess work. They’ve compiled a shopping list of needed supplies in Texas. It’s like a registry for the 18th wedding you’re attending this summer, except this stuff will actually be used. So while you’re adding the 10th pack of Espresso flavored Gu to your Amazon shopping cart, how about grabbing a few packs of diapers for the babes in the Houston? Knowing kiddos will be comfortable because of your contribution is, like, half marathon level endorphins if you ask me.

4. SoulCycle Relief Rides

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Because we all should be cross-training more anyway. SoulCycle is a luxe workout, I’m not here to deny that. I usually treat myself to a SoulCycle class every few months, and this treat couldn’t have come at a more meaningful time. SoulCycle studios across the country are hosting Houston Relief Rides, where 100% of proceeds go directly to Houston relief. Here is a list of all the studios participating and when.

5. American Red Cross 

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And the catch-all, the American Red Cross. Donating funds to the American Red Cross assures that your contribution is going to a meaningful and effective place. There are so many ways of donating, you don’t even have to put down your phone.

The saying goes, “If you’re not running, you’re cheering” and it applies here. If you’re not struggling, fighting through a race that seems endless, you are out there on the course getting as close as you can, giving your support, bananas, water, encouragement and good vibes.

Do you know of more ways us runners (humans) can help? Let me know and I’ll add to the list!

XO

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