The idea of making a difference can seem overwhelming. In the face of COVID-19, many well-deserving organizations are more in need than ever, while many would-be donors are facing economic shifts in their own lives. In this unpredictable climate, supporters are getting creative. And while we are seeing nearly half the US population unemployed,¹ many people still want to give back.
In fact, a Fidelity Charitable² survey found that 54% of donors had plans to maintain their giving, while another 25% actually wanted to increase their charitable giving. Even with millions of Americans out of work, many of those in a position to give truly intend to do so.
Meet Rose McCarty.
Earlier this summer, Rose pledged to run 1,000 miles across the US West Coast to raise awareness and funds for youth-serving nonprofits in the wake of COVID-19, including Good Sports. While many of us and our kids are inconvenienced at home, other young people are living in vulnerable conditions without access to school and positive social situations, including sports programs.
An avid runner with a love for sports from a young age, Rose understands the power of sports as an outlet. Her fundraising goal (and running goal) is to help remind people that not everyone is patiently waiting at home with YouTube workouts or playing in the backyard. Rather, over 9 million young people ages 3 to 18 don’t have Internet access³, and many others do not have a yard to play in.
This is why Rose’s mission is so important and relatable. Running is something almost anyone can do, regardless of their living situation. It requires very little amount of gear but helps to grow vast amounts of self-discipline and determination. Her efforts in raising awareness and funds can help Good Sports obtain more sports equipment– of any sport – and make sure they go directly to young people in need across our country.
Get to know Rose and how her run is setting the pace in how we give back.
Q: How did you come up with this idea in the first place? What was your inspiration?
A: Due to COVID-19 and all the turmoil that has followed along with this, I couldn’t help but think what kind of situation I would be if this happened when I was their age. So, from just my past experiences I can only imagine how these kids are even more worse-off due to the circumstances of this pandemic. With realizing this I decided that I wanted to make a difference for the better and show that the world hasn’t forgotten about them.
Just with sports alone it was always a big deal to me when sports and physical activity acted as a gateway to clearing my mind and keeping me not only physically but mentally stable. So just knowing the impact that a solid support system revolves around, it dawned on me on how affected these kids are and not being able to have access to healthy copping habits such as athletics. Programs being placed on hold and I see the impact this has on at-risk youth.
Q: How have sports and physical activity influenced you from a young age?
A: Sports always gave me something to look forward to and acted as a safe haven. It served a purpose of giving me the tools to safely and healthily cope with the hardships of life. And even at a young age, it taught me that even if something seems almost too difficult or seemingly impossible as long as you keep focused, put in the work and stay determined, the sky is the limit.
Sports helped show me the power of teamwork from both an athletic and professional standpoint. It was because of sports that I understood the power of teamwork, the importance of sportsmanship and also gave me the ability to put trust in others. It was then I realized that through the power of a team, you can accomplish just about anything.
Q: Why do you feel Good Sports aligns well as one of your chosen charities for your run?
A: There are 3 key pillars that help shape the foundation for at-risk youth and that is food/shelter, community, and the ability to play/sports. And what I really love about Good Sports is their investments in providing children who otherwise wouldn’t have the ability to play sport and be involved in a sense of a community, which helps instill healthy lifestyles and coping skills to the kids who need it most.
Q: What is some running gear or equipment that you can’t live without?
A: Well obviously shoes for one, but definitely my phone for my music, my GPS watch to help track my miles and a ball cap to help keep me cool during my run.
Q: In five words, how are you feeling right now about how your initiative is going?
A: Optimistic, committed, excited, nervous, inspired.
Q: What makes running special to you and how do you want kids to look at running?
A: What I love about running is that you can literally run anywhere, it’s you, your two feet and the pavement, and that’s very freeing and obviously the endorphins you get after accomplishing a big run is extremely rewarding. I want kids to look at running as a mind freeing sport that they can do almost anywhere and no matter how fast or how far you go, I want them to experience the great feeling of accomplishing a goal or something that they have put hard work into. It also opens the door of opportunity to see the world, even if they simply start in their backyard.
It’s exciting to watch Rose make her way through famous US cities and towns, especially as many of us stay home this summer. You can learn more about Rose’s journey at runroserun.com. And make sure to follower her on Instagram to catch all her travel updates!