IN THE PROCESS OF SPRING CLEANING? Are you un-cluttering your medal drawer AND find yourself wishing to do something special for someone who really needs a boost in morale? There is a way to give your race medals a second or third life, allowing you to simultaneously clean house and “do good”.
An alternative to donating money to a charity is the gifting of a hard-earned race medal to another person as an acknowledgement of their struggle to fight a serious medical or life condition. This kind of donation to a charitable organization, as well as personal donation, is discussed below. The organization's link is now on the GENEROSITY page.
If you’re an adult and have run a marathon, half marathon, or triathalon for which you received a medal (finisher or place medal) you can donate that piece of hardware to an organization called Medals4Mettle (M4M). It’s a non-profit organization, founded in 2005 by medical surgeon Steve Isenberg MD of Indianapolis Indiana, which “facilitates the gifting of “ such medals by runners from all around the world. Runners are instructed by the group to remove the original race ribbons prior to mailing the medal to a chapter. Special M4M ribbons are then attached by this “worldwide network of physicians and volunteers” who award them to “children and adults fighting debilitating illnesses who might not be able to run a race, but are in a race of their own just to continue to live their life. ” Thus the organization’s name comes from the act of honoring the “mettle and courage” of the recipients “in bravely facing these challenges”. A child can donate a medal from any race they’ve run to foster the spirit of philanthropy in the young. A specific person can be designated by you to receive your medal. Don’t have a medal to pass along but wish to get involved? You can volunteer to help at a local Medals4Medal chapter or start a chapter if none exist nearby. Find a chapter near you: http://www.medals4mettle.org/chapters.html
Personal: someone special
Although M4M allows you to designate a medal donation to a specific person, you can always directly and privately gift someone special in your life. If the “work“ of mailing a medal discourages you from taking action, the public nature of the award is off-putting, or the medal would continue to remain in your possession instead of finding a new awardee for ANY reason, simply give it yourself. Be sure to explain the gesture. Compose a note if the verbal task seems daunting. Remember that your special person need not be ill, but lonely, discouraged, or disadvantaged in some way. You might inform them, before that race, of your intent to “win” the medal in their honor. You could describe the difficulty you faced in the process of training and competing and how it relates to their situation. Most importantly be sure to reveal what about their struggle caused you to chose them as the recipient.
The rules for cleaning closets in general possibly apply to donating medals. If you have not “worn” one for several seasons, consider giving it to someone who will. The recipient can always re-gift to someone else in need, and your award will live on and on.
THE MEDALS4METTLE website link (above) is now on the GENEROSITY page. (it wasn't early this am!)
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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