Charity

Moon Joggers Go Above and Beyond for Charity

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These days, giving back is just a click away. Donation buttons, fundraising pages and charity websites mean you can make a real impact in the world with one finger. Meanwhile, the desire lives on to foster personal community among people who give, either for a specific cause or through an organization, and to watch your contribution add up along with others’.

Moon Joggers unites the convenience and immediacy of virtual charity events with enthusiastic participants who also want to improve themselves and their health. For the 4th of July 2017, the Moon Joggers organized 4 for the 4th of July. Anyone could sign up and at least 15% of the $17 registration fee would be donated to Home for Our Troops (HFOT), an organization that builds homes for severely injured veterans. HFOT is a privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that uses donated funds, material and volunteer time to build specially adapted custom homes throughout the US for post- 9/11 Veterans, allowing them to rebuild their lives and become productive members of society. Most of the recipients of these homes sustained multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis, and/or severe traumatic brain injury.

From a Local Challenge to a Global Effort

Like many communities, Moon Joggers began with one goal and two friends. Angie and Ashley, who set a goal in 2013 to run 1,000 miles, opened up the challenge to their friends. This grew from a local challenge to a global effort to run to the moon and in the same year they succeeded. Now over 33,000 joggers (or walkers – no judgment here as long as you clock in your miles) from 40 countries participate in their challenges. Joggers are encouraged to set their own personal goals while taking steps towards the challenge set by the Moon Joggers (Mars, Jupiter…the Milky Way), which are structured to encourage and hey, wouldn’t you want to say “yeah, I walked to the moon. What did you do today?” The participants vary from people who walk their dog around their neighborhood to competitive marathoners.

For the month of July, Moon Joggers is giving an opportunity to race with the community all over the world to support a cause that helps Veterans recover more productively and rebuild their lives and families. America’s Birthday Party has a whole new meaning to the Moon Joggers, and they aim to support the resources needed to provide homes and continued support for these injured Veterans. According to the impact report issued by Homes for Our Troops, 2016 alone saw over $21 million dollars raised to support this basic and necessary need. HFOT “received nearly 45,000 monetary gifts from individual donors, companies, organizations and foundations across the United States…[and] received over $3.8 million in contributed materials and labor.” Now Moon Joggers is one of the contributors to this cause.

Moon Joggers are given the opportunity to race alone or with friends, they can form teams and compete, supported by the community in their respective cities or towns, and all of them log their miles online for added incentive and to cheer each other along. Each virtual event is catered for a cause and comes with a medal and race bib for them to wear while running. Some of the many races include Support Our Girls 5K & 10K for Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Running of the Bulls 5K & 10K to help fund the The Arthritis National Research Foundation, Potato Day 5K & 10K for Heifer International, which strives to end world hunger. Many more noble causes are supported by these registrants.

Moon Joggers who enjoy the community aspect and motivation of racing or walking will often join marathons and represent Moon Joggers and their registered cause, another important way of raising awareness for both. Many of these joggers perpetuate a community of encouragement and giving, which allows for a great resource for many different charities. Some Moon Joggers share their experience on youtube, such as Carolyn Goodwin from Louisiana who says, “Moon Joggers changed my life – before Moon Joggers

I was very depressed, I couldn’t walk a block…and now I’ve done 25 half marathons and 2 marathons.” She expresses gratitude toward the cheering support of this virtual and physical community.

Tina from Orlando and Carol from Florida delight over Moon Joggers “because of all the support and the family feeling, and this girl just ran her first full!”.

This kind of support is something the founding sisters saw as a ripe opportunity to give back with their percentage donations in each event. The diversity of the group is embraced – even if you don’t like running, you can still go to the moon and help end world hunger. Oh, the internet.

About Rosie Kosinski

Rosie’s love for great aesthetics, world travel, challenging conversation, and random acts of kindness, has been shaped by a nomadic background that allowed her to see many facets of life in a short period of time. Born in England to Irish and Polish parents, Rosie was raised in Jerusalem by her artist father and her mother, an art and jewelry shop owner, who spent her spare time hosting charity events and donating the little they had to the needy. Rosie moved around in the Middle East, to the US and back and travelled before college to Australia, Europe and Canada. She attended Davidson College, where she studied Art and French (after dabbling in English, Science, Philosophy and Psychology). After college, Rosie moved to San Francisco for a year, before moving to the East Coast to work in New York City as a Gallery Director and Graphic Designer. She now lives and works in New Jersey, often travelling to fulfill her gypsy genes and explore the world in all its textures. She hopes to be one of the ripple effects for positive change, no matter where her journey continues to take her.

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