Why Running the New York City Marathon for the New York Junior League Means So Much to Me

New York Junior League NYC Marathon Queensboro Last 10 Miles

Over the course of these past few months of training to run the New York City marathon on behalf of the New York Junior League, I’ve written an awful lot about the running but not as much about *why* I’m doing it and raising money for the Junior League.

You can read more about what the NYJL is and what it means to me here, but what is it about this organization that gets me returning week after week, and devoting my time and cash money to our causes?

I was hoping that I’d get into the NYCM via lottery this year, but when that didn’t happen, I knew I wanted to raise money for something I truly believed in. Not only would it be a more meaningful experience for me, but if I was asking my friends and families to open their checkbooks, I knew it had to be something I felt I could confidently “sell” to them. An organization I wholeheartedly believe in that helps the women and children of New York City?

I know there are so many misconceptions about this organization, and when I led our communications, I aimed to help change that. Sure, we have some killer fundraising events, but our 2,600 members contribute more than 250,000 hours of service a year. Our community partners depend on us because we provide them with trained volunteers whom they know they can count on to show up.

Our volunteers do everything from offer emotional support to victims of domestic violence (and can then go on to become crisis counselors certified by the state of NY), to teaching life skills to women just released from prison to tutoring at-risk students in the foster and child welfare systems.

New York Junior League Playground Improvement Project

Through our Playground Improvement Project, we’ve cleaned up Manhattan parks for the past 24 years so that children can have safe and educational places to play.

Not only do we train our own volunteers to be effective leaders — for our own organization, their other community work and in their professional lives — we also train outside volunteers through our Nonprofit Boards Clearinghouse, which teaches the skills necessary to serve on a nonprofit board to help them meet their mission.

I’ve so far only volunteered in roles on our support side, but after my current role this year is up, I would love to work directly in our community. To be honest, I’m not sure which of our community areas I want to focus on, but I want to make that direct impact.

If you read this and you think what we do is valuable and you’d like to support our work, you can either donate on behalf of me here or donate to our overall team here. I was lucky enough to meet my fundraising minimum just before I left for Chicago (which was a HUGE relief), but several women are so close and a donation to them would be truly helpful.

If you’re reading this and want to join…you can find more information here. We have several orientations coming up!

So those are just a few reasons why I am SO excited to run through the five boroughs of my city wearing a shirt representing an organization that gives so much to our community and its volunteers. Thank you so much to everyone who’s supported me over these last few months — through reading here, donating, being there IRL. It all means so much to me.

This race is bigger than just me — it’s an amazing experience to share with basically an entire city — but raising money to help others and getting to do it with some amazing like-minded women? That is pretty damn special.

Do you volunteer? Have you ever raised money for charity for a race?

6 comments on “Why Running the New York City Marathon for the New York Junior League Means So Much to Me

  1. mom

    How did I get so lucky to have such a wonderful, loving and caring daughter
    as you. Giving so much of yourself to others,
    I’m Proud of you today of who you are what you have become all on your own
    and I know there is more to come in your future.

    Kisses and hugs

  2. Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat

    So rewarding to raise money for a cause you believe in! It makes the miles that much more meaningful. I’ve fundraised twice for NYCM and am now fundraising for the Rock n Roll Nola half marathon for CCFA. Made sense after being diagnosed with Crohn’s to do something to give back this year! Best of luck Sunday!

  3. Genna

    It is so great to hear all the wonderful thing because there are negative things we definitely hear. I want to join the JL down in Tampa, Florida and am concerned about costs, time commitments, etc. OR, what if they don’t like me! I do currently have a few girlfriends in it here

  4. Ashley

    The Junior League of Montclair-Newark will have runners and cheerers out there on Sunday too. Run fast and run strong!

  5. Annie

    It’s one of my goals to get my nonprofit – Surge for Water – more involved with running and other athletic fundraisers. We have a new campaign we call ACT for Clean Water to encourage participants. I might have to pick your brain about recruiting runners to the cause sometime!

  6. maria

    Junior League is great! As a event manager at a nonprofit, I love having junior league volunteers help out. They are reliable, experienced and smart. Thanks to you and your JL crew : )


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