Tag Archives: charity

Favorite Things Right Now (Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser Style)! (1)

A lot of bloggers post lists, links, videos, pictures of their favorite things at the moment. These are some of MY favorite posts to read. You get to see things you may not normally have come across and you get an insight to what they are interested in!

So, I decided to do the same. Because I have favorite things too. A lot of them. No better place to start than with how awesome people are coming together to raise money for Hurricane relief efforts!

Today: Hurricane Sandy Fundraisers

1. Jersey Unite: As a native to the Jersey Shore, seeing the destruction of our hometowns was absolutely devastating. Jenny Gassner (whom I’ve known since middle school) designed three different Jersey Shore t-shirts available for purchase to help with the relief effort. More than 50% of the profits will be donated to the Red Cross or to a specific family in need in the area that I grew up.

(from left to right) The t-shirts feature Bon Jovi “Living on a Prayer” lyrics, Bruce Springsteen “Rosalita” lyrics and Jersey Shore town names written into the words!

I OBVIOUSLY bought the Bruce Springsteen shirt!

Note: If you order a shirt, it is pre-ordered!

2. Megan’s fundraiser/giveaway for Staten Island relief efforts: Born and raised in Staten Island, Megan feels the way toward SI as I do toward the Jersey Shore. She created a giveaway on her blog that is also a fundraiser. Donate money = get an entry. Donate more money = get more entries. The best part? She has AMAZING sponsors donating the prizes. Please head over to her blog and consider donating to the relief effort in Staten Island (and enter to win some awesome prizes)!

Photo Courtesy of Megan

3. A Wedding Registry to help a fellow HLB who lost everything to Sandy! Where do I begin with this? Ashley and her husband are amazing and came up with the idea to create a registry on the Target website for all essential items including furniture, kitchen and bath items, electronics and personal items for her and her husband as well as their two kids!

Even more awesome? Ashley was interviewed by ABC News about the fundraiser. We are that much closer to helping Jen’s family rebuild! Please share the registry and consider purchasing any items (they are shipped to Jen and her family)! The smallest purchase goes a long way.

4. Custom Erica Sara Designs necklace giveaway! Christine has very graciously offered to donate $1 for every entry received. Yes, add them to the beautiful human list. 100% of the donation will go to the Brooklyn Recovery Fund to be used to support storm recovery efforts in Brooklyn. The funds will provide direct support for need to communities and organizations impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

5. Runners running for Sandy relief! Crowdrise makes it SUPER EASY to set up a fundraising page. Please consider donating to Lora’s page and Katie’s page (who I will be side-by-side with at the Richmond Marathon this weekend)! Both have set up the fundraiser to benefit the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC! 100% of the donations from organizations and individuals are being dispersed to relief effort organizations, which purchase immediate aid needs such as food, water and hygiene supplies as wells as long-term relief and restoration efforts!

6. Virtual Run for Sandy Recovery 

Lora and Kara created a fun and easy way to raise money for Sandy Recovery. We are all going to be running anyway right? They figured, donate some money and they will organize a Virtual Race with PRIZES! Win/Win if you ask me. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross.

How to participate:

  1. Run a race of any distance the month of November. There are SO many to choose from!
  2. Register for the Virtual Race for Hurricane Sandy here.
  3. Pledge your donation here (a minimum donation of $10 requested). Once again, ALL proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross.
  4. Tell all of your friends that you are participating and invite them to join us, too.
  5. Run your race and tell us how you did! Make sure to send us pictures.
  6. Win Prizes.

You can join and participate up until November 30.

7. Daily Zeel Pinterest page created by Stacy (she is an employee)! She pinned fundraisers, giveaways, and/or discounts for Hurricane Sandy relief. Please visit the page and check out all of the amazing opportunities to give back!

8. Surfrider Foundation, NYC – Rory, a friend I used to work with, is collecting supplies and donations needed (click on link) at his bar, Blue Haven (108 W. Houston & Thompson in Greenwich Village). Rory will be delivering the supplies on Saturday afternoon (Nov 10) to Far Rockaway to Surfrider Foundation that will distribute all of the donations to those in need!

9. Jen’s Cheribundi Giveaway (Donate for Entries)! Jen has chosen two charities to benefit from the donations (50/50).

Stephen Siller Foundation (to benefit Staten Island)

Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund (to benefit NJ)

She has also agreed to match up to $50 and her parents agreed to match that donation as well! The giveaway ends November 14.

Note from Ashley: To volunteer directly with the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, please call the state hotline at 1-800-Jersey-7. They can help point you in the right direction! Visit their Facebook page for more information!

10. Wish Upon a Hero Fundraiser to benefit the Everett Family – Please support these four children who lost both parents in the storm when a tree crashed into their car. The two youngest children were in the backseat when their parents were killed but survived. This family has a long road ahead of them!

Please do whatever you can to help. It is needed desperately. Please share, pin and comment to get some attention to these great causes!

If you know of any other organizations (or blog fundraisers!), please let me know and I will add them to the list!


Post-Sandy and NYC Marathon Cancel: Things I Learned, Always Knew and am Clueless About

Things I learned this past week:

  • I have NEVER in my life been more proud to be from the Jersey Shore. We all know what Hurricane Sandy devastated many areas, especially the Jersey Shore, my hometown of Point Pleasant included. I have always cherished where I grew up. A majority of my memories from childhood through high school involved the beach and the boardwalk. I went home on Wednesday this week and walked along the beach and took in the sights. Sandy destroyed everything. It will be rebuilt but it will never be the same. Although an understatement, I am grateful that my family and friends are safe. Everyone who escaped with minimal or no damage is coming together to help friends and family and perfect strangers that are in need. #JerseyStrong
  • I have NEVER in my life been more upset that I do not live closer to home. I feel completely helpless right now. I have donated to the Red Cross and other fundraisers that friends have created and I have gone home a couple of times and helped out where I can. Fizz and I went out tonight and bought supplies to donate (cleaning supplies, blankets, baby formula, diapers, OTC medicine, plastic utensils and paper plates, and fleece blankets)! I feel guilty about sitting on my couch right now with internet and cable and lights and hot water when others have absolutely nothing. I already know I am going to feel guilty about sitting at my desk at work all week when I could be helping a family somewhere.
  • I never thought I would care less about running the NYC Marathon. I was so emotionally invested in what was happening in my hometown and surrounding towns (as well as the NYC boroughs hit) that running the race was nowhere near the front of my mind at any point. The 2012 NYCM was a race I have been working toward since January 2011. I spent a lot of money running NYRR races to qualify and I spent a lot of time away from family and friends to train. It was supposed to be a runner’s dream come true, my dream come true. Now, it means nothing in comparison to how I feel about Sandy relief.
  • I need to (a) stop posting when I am drunk or (b) start proofreading if I plan on posting while I am drunk. I wrote this post on Tuesday night. When I went to read some comments, I noticed that I wrote the same word in a row about 281 times and my sentences did not make sense. It was edited (while still drunk), so it probably still doesn’t make sense. Sorry.
  • Besides being a kick-ass runner, Molly Pritz is hysterical. Becki (from The Middle Miles) interviewed Molly and asked some awesome questions. She honestly made me laugh out loud. You can read the interview here!

Things I always knew:

  • I can always trust in Bruce Springsteen. On Friday, a New York and New Jersey born line-up (Christina Aguilera, Billy Joel, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Brian Williams, Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, Matt Lauer and of course, Bruce Springsteen), performed for the Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together telethon which raised funds for the Red Cross. Bruce concluded with “God Bless New York, God Bless the Jersey Shore.”
  • I love Mizuno Running. Beth and I spent a majority of our time at the Mizuno booth at the expo yesterday. We bought shoes and learned and laughed a lot. We were there when we found out about the marathon being canceled and the reps working were the absolute best.
  • I make interesting decisions when I drink tequila. Post zero-reaction/blank stare for an hour NYCM cancelation, I went out and had 24 margaritas and now I am running the Richmond Marathon on Saturday November 10. I’ve been tapering for 4 weeks now. I do not even know if my legs can carry me 26 miles anymore. Good thing about Richmond: It is America’s Friendliest Marathon and I will not be anywhere near alone. The “No-NYCM” has left a lot of runners hungry for a race. So far, #TeamRichmond includes Katie, Meggie, Leticia, Fiona, Jess, Gia, Katie, my friends Laura and Sky and Dori, always. Dorothy is also running so I hope to meet her! I believe there are more too, I just do not know them (yet) but I am positive we will be friends after America’s Friendliest Marathon.

  • I love tequila.
Things I am not sure about yet (I’ll get back to you):
  • Can I really run two marathons in one week? I am running the Richmond Marathon on November 10 and the Philly Marathon with Melissa on November 18. Laura, please help.
  • Can I lose the 10+ pounds I have gained while tapering? This is not a joke. I drank (way) too much /everyday and stopped eating healthy. Shit needs to change.
  • Will the NYCM ever be the same? The controversy makes me think it may lose some of its appeal in the future.

OK enough about me. Take a minute and donate to something, somewhere for Sandy relief.

If you want to help a specific family, please consider donating to Jen’s. She is a fellow healthy living blogger and marathoner who lost everything (her house, car and almost her husband) in Staten Island when Sandy came through like a raging bitch. You can donate to her family by clicking here.

If you live near Point Pleasant, go to the Masonic Lodge in Point Pleasant Beach next to Jersey Mike’s Subs on Route 35 South/New Jersey Avenue beginning at 8AM. They will be sending volunteers to homes that need help cleaning up the damage and destruction. It would be helpful if you brought gloves and masks (if you have them).

If you live near any other hard hit area (Breezy Point, Rockaway, Coney Island, Staten Island, Hoboken, cities on Long Island and any others), donate food. Be sure to look up the needs of shelters in the areas before dropping off material donations!

If you want to set up your own fundraising for someone or for a certain charity for Sandy relief, it is simple to create on Crowdrise. (i.e. Lora created a page to support the Mayors Fund and Lora created a page for a virtual run to raise funds for relief efforts).

If you are not local and cannot donate supplies or hard labor (seriously, its messy), make a monetary donation the Red Cross. Text REDCROSS to 90999 and you will have donated $10. It is that simple.

If you love animals: (1) Text HUMANE to 80888 and you will have donated $10 to the Humane Society of the US (or click here for an online donation). (2) Click here to donate to the ASPCA! A lot of animals were displaced because of this storm, please consider this option as well.

Sending thoughts and love to everyone in need ❤

ORANGE-UP for the NYC Marathon with ING Runners Nation!

It is Marathon week. Officially 7 more days until I toe (or gradually cross) the start line of the ING New York City Marathon.  I’ve been working toward getting to this start line for over 3 years! I’ve dealt with lottery rejection, injury, a year of qualifying and another year of training!

My family and friends (and millions of strangers) will be out there in full support of me. I will be running along side of 45,000+ others all working towards the same goal. It brings me an overwhelming feeling of joy.

Many of the runners will be running for a charity (in 2011, over 210 charities raised over $34 million, source, holy shit), either because they have an AMAZING heart or because of the difficulty it is to guarantee an entry into the race, hopefully a little of both.

I consider myself a healthy living blogger. I’m assuming if you read my blog you are interested in living a healthy life of you and your loved ones (or my mom paid you to increase my site hits). The ING Community Fund is tackling childhood obesity through ING Run For Something Better. They are helping children become fit through free, school-based running fitness programs. Through donations and grants, the programs introduce children to the benefit of running, physical fitness and healthy lifestyle choices. With ING-sponsored races and ING KiDS ROCK (a partnership between ING Run For Something Better and the KiDS ROCK running series operated by Competitor Group, Inc.), the kids get to experience a “final-mile run” which simulates a race day atmosphere! They will receive medals, t-shirts and orange laces! Although I do not have children, I would absolutely LOVE to volunteer at an event like this!

For those of you running, walking, spectating, watching on TV, dreaming of or even thinking about the ING NYC Marathon on November 4, I think a fun way to celebrate is to ORANGE-UP your fitness routine this week! If you donate $10 (or more) here, you will be sent a pair of orange shoelaces like these:


By participating, you’ll be supporting the 45,000+ runners in the ING NYC Marathon, as well as the ING Run for Something Better campaign that creates running programs for kids. Plus, who doesn’t want Neon orange laces in return for doing something good for kids, especially the week of Halloween?

ORANGE-UP WEEK – Monday, October. 29 – Sunday, November 4

Do you want to win something?

How about an ORANGE prize pack from ING? It will include those neon ORANGE laces as well as these ridiculously fun ORANGE glasses (no guarantee on looking as cool as me though):


It’s easy to participate (and it’s free)! SO wear something ORANGE, and tell your best friend and your mom and your dog to do the same and get ACTIVE!

How to Enter!

  1. Take a picture of yourself (or your best friend, or mom or dog, all the whole gang) wearing ORANGE (and having fun).
  2. Submit your photo:
    • Facebook – Post your picture on the ING Runners Nation page (and like it since you already do and are already there). Please include this caption with your picture: “I am wearing ORANGE with RunningBun.com because I support the ING Runners Nation #orange_up.
    • Twitter – Tweet your photo to @INGRunnerNation with the following: “I am wearing ORANGE with @runningbun because I support the ING Runners Nation and #INGCLassof2012 #orange_up.
  3. Comment on this post (one for each entry) and let me know you submitted the pictures (I want to see them too, and it’s the only way I can pick a winner via Random.org!

Your picture must include the bolded caption above. You can enter a maximum of two times (one on Facebook and one on Twitter). There is no prior registration necessary, just submit your picture when you’re done exercising (or during, if you can multi-task)!  A random winner will be selected from all of the comments I receiver on this post (so don’t upload and not let me know) on November 5, 2012 (if I have enough energy to lift my hands).

Have fun with this!

Best of luck to all of the ING Class of 2012 runners!!

Please note: I will not stop stay ORANGE until after the marathon Smile Sorry!

Running for a Cause (and for meaning): The Recycling Runner

I was going through some of my new followers on Twitter last week and one jumped out at me. His name was “The Recycling Runner” and his bio said “Running enthusiast that collects all roadside recyclables as he runs. Redeems the recyclables & the $$ is donated to the American Heart Association.”

I followed him back and sent him a direct message asking for his email address because I needed more information. He responded with an inspirational story that was BEYOND what I could have expected. I wanted to post about Joe’s story and his cause on my blog simply because you don’t come across great people like this very often and I thought his story should be shared (and shared, and shared).

Name: Joe Sullivan

From Joe:

I am excited and honored that you want to do a feature about me and my project on your blog.

I am an Army Veteran (17 years service), Husband of an Army Officer and Father of three boys – we just had twins last week!! I went to Virginia Commonwealth University and earned my Bachelor in Fine Arts and since then I have been working as an Independent Artist.

I have been a lifelong runner, but in May of 2004, shortly after my return from Operation Iraqi Freedom, I suffered a Heart Attack after an Army Physical Fitness test. I luckily survived what my doctor called the “Widow Maker.” Since then, with great rehabilitation both physically and vocationally, I now have a new chance on life.

I worked hard on getting back to running because I missed it so much. In 2009, I ran my first Marathon in 4:18. This proved to me I can do anything in running again, just not with the fast pace I once had. In 2010, I met a running coach that trained the Fort Lee 10 Miler team and with his expertise I was able to compete in that year’s Army Ten Miler. I ran it in 74 minutes and that was what I call my comeback race. Since then I have run a ton of half marathons, improved my marathon time to 3:52, and started the Recycling Runner Project. The project kept me running even if I didn’t have a scheduled race. At first it was because I was tired of seeing my running routes filthy, but then I thought, “There has to be something else I can do with this junk.” Considering I am dealing with heart disease every day, I figured I should redeem the recyclables and donate the money to the American Heart Association.


Where are you located?

I am in Upstate New York in Fort Drum.

Do you collect recyclables on every run?

Yes I do this on every run. I never pass up a chance to grab a recyclable.

What do you carry with you?

I carry a Camelbak daypack for short runs and a larger hiking rucksack like pack for longer runs- both have a 120oz Camelbak, in some random pockets you’ll find some GU packets and the main portion of the packs are always lined with a trash bag, so the often filthy recyclables don’t stink up my gear too badly. I usually train/run at 8-9 min miles and usually keep my eyes peeled as I run down the road or trail. When I see a recyclable I drop my pack, open it up, I usually inspect the can or bottle (don’t pick up cigarette or chewing tobacco filled bottles or cans) empty it of dirt or liquids the best I can and crush it up to save space – then throw my pack back on and get back to pace as quickly as I can. This does greatly effect consistent pacing over long distances, but it can be a great quick recovery, can simulate practicing surges, and it really makes the run oddly more fun & rewarding. My only issue is the removing of the backpack sometimes as quickly as 2 steps later can often get frustrating – the on & off of the pack really holds things up as for the running aspect. So I am engineering a pack that I can expedite the collection process without taking the pack off my back. I am hoping to have fun with the engineering portion of the project by creating a pack, a pull cart and a push cart to hold the recyclables just to see what would be more efficient for the job. In designing these things I hope to create a product that maybe other runners would consider wearing in order to do the same thing. I mean who else has a closer look at our road sides and can clean them up easier than us runners, right?

Does anyone else help?

No I do this alone.

Do you organize any runs with others?

No, if I run with others I often say “Don’t mind me while I stop for these things.”

Do you organize clean ups of any areas, trails, running paths?

I have not organized anything, but would love to one day see a town, city, state or national run day that everyone does this – it would be amazing!!

Do you keep track of how much you pick up?

I am keeping track of my numbers as I get home just to see how much I collect. Although I have been doing the cleaning up for a number of years I only recently started calling myself the RecyclingRunner for a little over a month and started tracking my project’s results since then. Below is one of my recent posts (and the numbers have climbed quite a bit since):

              • 7 days of running: in 38 miles I found 47 plastic bottles, 59 Aluminum cans, 4 glass bottles, 23 Nonrefundables and even watched someone toss some cans out their window as they passed me (they must’ve known I was the RecyclingRunner)!

How much money have you donated to the AHA?

Sadly because it is only 5 cents at a time, it takes a while to build any serious amount. I opened an account that is strictly for the redeemed money and when I reach $100 dollars I will be making my first donation. I am currently a little over $20 dollars, but have not made the initial donation because of the goal I set to meet. I hope to one day maybe have financial backers that will maybe match 10 cents to every item I redeem or something of that nature to help the donation amount become more substantial. Regardless of the amount donated (which one day may be a significant amount), the project is the idea of cleaning up the world we run in, recycling these discarded items and giving the money to someone or some organization that can use the money for good. I wish it was a tremendous amount for you to pass on to your readers, but sadly it is a slow process.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States (source, source). I really feel that he is doing a wonderful thing for the cause as well as our community and of course our environment. Please share his story! Perhaps we could all be involved in some way in the future!

For further information on Joe’s Recycling project, please visit his Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/RecyclingRunner.


Photo Credit – RecyclingRunner