Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

#GivingTuesday: Why I run to help others

At just 11 years old, Raquel, above with her father, Paul  was our youngest Gold Charity runner in this year`s City2Surf. Today we are celebrating her story in the spirit of #GivingTuesday, a day that’s all about inspiring people to give back. Raquel describes in her own words what race day was like and why giving back is so important to her.

My fingers were cold, my heart was racing. I could see the puffs of breath in front of my face. The sun was peeking out over the horizon, but we were already in our starting positions. I could feel the adrenalin buzzing. I heard the gun fire. The pace was slow because there were so many people. But that was okay, I was saving my energy for Heartbreak Hill.

City2Surf is a tough race, but my discomfort was nothing compared to the discomfort others face each day. This year I was running for charity, as well as for fun. Just knowing that motivated me. Fundraising challenges €“ such as running, walking or swimming events €“ are great as it is not only you who benefits, but the people you are fundraising for! But how can others be involved? And how did fundraising challenges even start, then get so popular?

The first known walk for charity was held in Puerto Rico in 1953 by famous comedian, Ramón Rivero, better known as Diplo. He walked nearly 130 kilometres and raised a huge $85,000 for cancer research in just four days! Another event in 1971 saw over 150,000 Americans take part in a nationwide walkathon, raising over $1 million to fight hunger. This trend has since caught on, with hundreds of charity fun runs and events now held around the world. That`s five steps forward.

Nearly all of us like to exercise; it keeps us fit, healthy and is enjoyable! But guess what is better than normal exercising, exercising for charity! You get all the benefits of normal exercise PLUS you are helping someone in need. This year I ran in the City2Surf, not just for me, but for children living in poverty. My goal was to raise $1,000, with all the money I raised going to ChildFund, who will distribute it to a specific area in Papua New Guinea. That`s 10 steps forward.

We know all about this fun run business, but there is one question remaining: how can others get involved? Well, it is very simple. Find a local fun run coming up soon, register and ask friends and family to sponsor you. To encourage you when you are running or walking, you might like to do it with friends or family members, and that`s even more money being raised! There really is a ripple effect of benefits from doing fundraising challenges. That`s the rest of the way.

I crossed the finish line and ran to the timer to see my time. I grinned, it was half of my previous time. I was proud, and the best part was knowing that I just helped make a dream come true for another family. Indeed, I believe knowing that is what drove me to be my best. What a fine finish, and what a great start.

ChildFund Australia would like to say a huge thanks to Raquel and her dad who put in a great effort training for and running the City2Surf in support of ChildFund. Together they raised over $1,500 to help provide vital immunisations for young children in Papua New Guinea. Amazing effort! What will you do to give back this #GivingTuesday?

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