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The run club that I started back in May is about three things. First, a healthy lifestyle. Second, empowering women and third, acts of kindess. As the holidays approach, it is a reminder for me to find more ways to incorporate running with doing good in the world. After watching the documentary Run.. last Friday, I wanted to ways to give the gift of running to others. But how? The answer… shoes. I have so many old running shoes, why not donate them to someone whose life might be changed?

I started researching organizations that collect shoes for young people in Kenya and other African countries. One of the organizations I came across was Shoes4Africa. According to their website, their main focus is health and education. The idea for Shoes4Africa came about when the founder  “discovered the horrible barefoot disease people get called Hookworm (preventable covering the toenail with running shoes). Then, by chance, we tested a sponsored running team for a vitamin/mineral deficiency and found out half the runners tested positive for the HIV virus. Shoe4Africa at once started promoting AIDS Awareness through Sports using races as social platforms and elite athletes as ambassadors to talk about this, still, taboo subject.” A Pair of shoes can literally change someone’s life.

Since then, S4Ahas grown to include programs for education, women’s empowerment and peace, and health. Currently, Shoes4Africa is working towards building the first ever public children’s hospital in East Africa. Ground breaking is scheduled to take place this January 1st. The organization’s only full time employee is Toby Tanser. The rest – volunteers.

I think if we all took time to volunteer a little more, the world would be a better place. As 2012 comes to an end, Team Run Inspired. is going to gather all of our old shoes and donate them, where we hope to give the gift of running and of hope. And if YOU have any old running shoes that you want to give a second life to, check out Shoes4Africa‘s website to find out how you can help!

Happy Trails, Happy Running, and Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!!


Training Update: Mario and I went ouf for an easy 7 mile run this morning. It was suppose to be a recovery run from yesterday’s speed workout so it was an easy pace. Here are my stats. Tomorrow is 5 miles and I’m going to throw in some strength training. It’s not on my workout schedule but I need to make room for a Thanksgiving feast!

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