Though I am originally from Maine, I have called Massachusetts, Colorado and North Carolina "home" at various points in my life. Since July, I've been settled in Washington, D.C. and feeling extremely lucky to live here. I'm a program associate at USGLC; an international affairs non-profit organization.
My running partner, Finn, is a 5-year-old German Shepherd/Black lab mix. My husband and I rescued him when he was 3-months-old in Colorado. He loves running, chasing squirrels, and tennis balls!
At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, I was living in Boston and decided to create my own half-marathon to fundraise for a wonderful organization, Friends of Boston's Homeless. As races were canceled, I thought it would be fun to create my own race and have people "sponsor" the run as a way to give back in a time that created difficulties for everyone.
Though many of us want to give back, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out what organization we'd like to give to, and then wonder if our $10, $15 donation will really go that far. I've found that when I'm offered the chance to donate a small amount to a fundraiser, it's encouraging to see that my $10 is part of a series of 10, 15, even 20 other $10 donations that add up quickly. Clicking a link on an Instagram story, in your Facebook feed, or in your inbox creates a fast, easy avenue to giving back. Many people my age are saddled with the burden of student debt and skyrocketing rent prices, so knowing that you can still make a difference without making a gigantic dent in your bank account is comforting.
I've been running for a few years, and it's one of my favorite ways to spend my free time! It's a great bonding experience for my dog, Finn, and I - nothing makes me happier than when he turns around during a run, tongue out, to look at me and wag his tail. We explore new neighborhoods, push our physical limits, and enjoy coffee and puppuccinos afterwards. It's up to you to guess who enjoys which... :)
It's on us to take care of each other. Life can be incredibly difficult, and we ALL deserve access to everything Thrive DC provides; emergency care, substance abuse counseling, re-entry support, safe housing, etc. I'm especially enthused and proud to support an organization that addresses the difficulties of both mental health and substance abuse issues. While food, water, and shelter are really important, I think addressing those problems is critical. All of us have a right to that assistance.
The greatest part of the human experience is sharing love and kindness with one another. So many Americans are a few bills, a medical emergency, or an unexpected tragedy away from losing safe, stable housing. Because it's not a guarantee from our government, the work that Thrive DC does - creating a safety net for vulnerable populations - is exactly what I want my community to have access to. I'm inspired by the work many of my friends and people in the communities I've lived in have done to work on expanding and enforcing that safety net. I'm not sure how long my time on this Earth will be, but I hope that much of it will be spent making a positive impact on the people I'm lucky enough to share it with.