Making A Difference, Join This #BadassLadyGang and Support Planned Parenthood
November 8th, 2016 I was crying by myself in a hotel bar as I watched Donald Trump win the presidency. I was in Long Beach for work and I can still recall the dread I felt about waking up the next day, knowing for the next four years I’d be living in the reality that Trump is president.
The next few weeks, I felt like I was reeling with the implications of what could happen. I was also simultaneously amazed by the surge in action I witnessed from my peers and community. There were protests, rallies, people planning senator calling parties, people deciding to RUN for senator, and people planning 5k races!
A few weeks later I was mulling over what I could do to make an impact using my particular skill set. I had been to marches and rallies in Seattle, and while I felt they held so much value, I also felt that I specifically was called to something else.
After the election, there was a furious flurry of activity online. Amidst that fury, I noticed several 5k's in Seattle to benefit Planned Parenthood that were planned for the Inauguration weekend.
I planned a few 5k's in high school to benefit non-profit organizations, so seeing these other races led me to this *aha* moment - I realized this is how I could make a difference! I could put on a 5k to benefit Planned Parenthood. While there were three 5k’s the weekend of the Inauguration that seemed hugely popular, I thought another 5k planned a couple months later could still be worthwhile, continuing on this positive momentum! And judging from our current events, it appears that Planned Parenthood is going to need support for a long time!
I was so inspired that I reached out to all my friends in Seattle to introduce the idea of planning a 5k.
And to my surprise, they said yes.
I’m surrounded by some incredible women in Seattle. Their time, sweat, creativity, hustle, and passion were 100% the reason why our first 5k was successful. Whether it was the skills to put together a website or the talent to design a killer t-shirt: each of the 12 women on the committee brought a skill and perspective that was vital in creating a successful event.
When we applied for permits for the event, we had asked the city for 700 participant spots. After the global Women’s March, our event sold out in a matter of days. We had so many requests from Seattlites to participate, we requested an additional 800 spots. They said yes, and when we opened sales again, we sold out in less than 2 hours.
The women on the committee and I met weekly from the beginning of January until the 5k in March frantically dreaming and scheming to make the day the grandest it could be and in the end, we not only received over $6,000 from the community to help with administrative costs but we ended up raising $31,982 for Planned Parenthood!
The 5k was amazing. It poured buckets of rain yet when reminiscing about the event, afterward, we couldn’t help but come back to one feeling: joy.
After the success of our first 5k, it felt like the devastation of 2017 wouldn't quit: from the hurricanes to the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the wildfires that raged on the West Coast, to the weekly crises created by our White House.
When it came to thinking about 2018, I looked around at our committee and asked if they would be game to do this thing again. It might seem like a no-brainer - 5k’s seem pretty straightforward from the outside - but in truth, they can be very time (and energy) consuming.
Ultimately, we felt compelled to hold a second annual 5k.
While prepping for the second 5k I try to focus and reflect on my "why:" I honestly feel like we should hold our 5k again because we can. We have the tools, we have some exposure to build on, and we worked together really well as a team. With so much going on in the world that is out of my control, this is something that I can do to put hope and joy back into the universe while raising money for an organization that needs our support. From this perspective, putting on the 5k became totally worth any personal sacrifices.
So, I am thrilled to announce the second March On 5k will take place in Seattle at GreenLake on March 10th at 9:30am and 11:00am!
This year, our goal is to raise even more for Planned Parenthood and to accomplish this goal, we asked the city for an additional 1,500 participant spots. And they said yes! This means that this year, we could raise over $60,000 for Planned Parenthood!
If you're interested in participating, we’d love to have you.
If you would like to volunteer, we could certainly use your help!
Ultimately though, our committee’s challenge to those that hear our story is to create your own story! What are you burning with passion about? Even though the difficult things happening in the world can seem overwhelming at times, we wholeheartedly believe one woman can make a difference. March on!