What gets your motor running? Maybe your daily cup o’ joe perks you up each day and gets you going. Ok, so that’s what wakes you up and gets you moving. But what, literally, makes you run? That’s tougher, especially if you aren’t a “runner.”
There was a time in my life when I was pretty confident I would never ever, ever run unless it was after a ball. I ran a soccer field up and down all game long, but to just run? What’s the point? Sure there’s health, fitness, etc. But those didn’t appeal to me when I knew I could find health and fitness other ways. It’s just too painful and, quite frankly, I felt it was boring.
Now, imagine signing up for a race. Now you have a few months to prepare. So what do you do? You run. Each day…or maybe every other day. You just…run…or jog…or trot (as I like to do). You hope that each day as you lace up your shoes, what you are doing is enough to prepare you for that race day. Every time I sign up for a race I get nervous! Sounds delightful, right?
Now imagine signing up for a race that was to benefit a nonprofit, and that nonprofit helped children in need, specifically children who need homes. Every day when you lace up those sneaks, you know you’re doing it because your running will benefit a child. This actually does sound delightful.
Jenni Lord is the founder of Chosen, a race that raises money for children and families touched by adoption – a small race turned growing nonprofit. Listening to Runified’s podcast, episode 10, I wanted to jump up and head to Texas to join this race!
For the past six years, I have been working as co-director of a charitable race benefitting children with special needs. When we started, we didn’t know what it would turn into, but I can say that year after year, I am brought to tears from the sense of community, love, and hope that I feel at that event. From firsthand experience, I know how much hard work it takes to put something like this on. I also know how much heart it takes to not only get the race going, but to keep it up year after year.
I have so much respect for Jenni. What I love about Jenni is that you could tell, right from the beginning of the interview, that this idea to create Chosen was all from the heart. It’s heard in her voice and seen in the details of the race. From children who have been adopted handing out the medals, to working to get sponsors to help fund the event; every detail is done thoughtfully and with love. But why a race to benefit children in need? To help adoption? What does that even mean? Here’s where YOUR money goes with you race or donated to Chosen.
1) Provide Adoption Assistance – This includes financial resources. More than 25% of Americans have considered adoption and yet, less than 2% of those actually adopt. Not surprisingly, the number one reason for not pursuing adoption is finances. Chosen helps families address that major concern. Beyond that, they also provide educational resources to help prepare families for adoption.
2) Mentor Programs – Beyond finances, families need mentoring assistance so that they can be successful. This helps teach and guide families so they can be intentional about their parenting. Many of children coming out of the foster care system come from trauma, and this helps adoptive parents not only understand these situations a bit, but also be prepared with tools that can help their child through this trauma.
3) Outreach – Chosen isn’t just about the local need. Chosen wants to help ALL children, and through their outreach program they are able to assist local foster care community and orphan- care projects throughout the world. Did you know that only about 20% of the world’s orphan population are adoptable? What about the other 80%? This outreach program allows Jenni’s nonprofit to look out for children around the world.
Known as “The Prettiest Race in Texas,” Chosen is more than a race along a gorgeous trail. It’s beautiful because of its mission, the people involved, and the feeling you get after participating in this race, either as a volunteer or runner. As Jenni states, “There is a transformational component to throwing yourself into a work like this.”
As you run on behalf of a pretty beautiful purpose, as you run the trail and the purpose runs through your mind and heart, you become a different person – a better person. It makes lacing up those Asics a bit easier, and yes, delightful.
To register for the November 19 race or donate to their cause, click here.