We always look forward to the many fun and family-focused running and cycling events in the area each spring but, unsurprisingly, charitable organizations have had to reimagine their races due to COVID-19 concerns.
The annual 6-mile Tour de Natick family bike ride put together by the Rotary Club of Natick has gone to a virtual format this year. The Virtual Tour de Natick can be completed anytime over Father’s Day weekend, and organizers encourage riders to bike anywhere that works best for them — literally from anywhere in the world! You can even use a stationary bike if you prefer.
All money raised through the Virtual Tour de Natick will go toward the Rotary Club of Natick’s charitable foundation to benefit Natick Scholars. Each year the Club gives away over $10,000 in scholarships to graduating Natick High School Seniors and over 300 dictionaries to the town’s third graders. Thanks to funds raised through the Tour de Natick, over the past 14 years the club has distributed over $151,000 in scholarships and over 4,500 dictionaries.
The need is literal, not virtual
Other 501(c)s that rely on the fundraising generated during the annual springtime events — New Life Furniture Bank, Natick-based Family Promise, and The Second Step program — need essential funding more than ever to continue with their missions of helping families.
The Eliot Church of Natick stepped up by fielding a virtual team of 15 runners and walkers for the New Life Virtual 5k. To participate in a safe and socially distant manner, group members completed their own personal 5k walks or runs. Funds raised benefited the New Life Furniture Bank of Massachusetts in its mission to provide essential home furnishings to those in need.
Across the border, the Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club (WHJWC) invites the community to participate in a “Virtual Wonder Run” to support of two organizations — The Second Step program and Family Promise Metrowest.
Both programs are committed to helping families through difficult times, and are facing difficult times of their own with the increased critical financial needs associated with COVID-19.
The WHJWC is about halfway to its 15k fundraising goal.
Here’s how the WHJWC Virtual Fun Run works:
– Join a team or create your own to raise money for your personal 5K walk or run
– Invite family, friends and neighbors to join or donate in your support
– Complete your own personal 5K walk or run anytime between Friday, 5/29 – Sunday, 6/7
– Please adhere to all social distancing regulations. Safety is a priority!
– Snap a picture or video and tag #VirtualWonderRun2020
– Have Fun!
– Anyone is also welcome to donate if unable to participate through the GoFundMe campaign
About the Virtual Fun Run’s beneficiaries:
The Second Step — A way from violence to self-reliance
The WHJWC has been working with and volunteering regularly at Second Step where survivors are experiencing not only an increased risk of abuse, but also increased isolation and difficulty escaping danger. Second Step has been adapting their services in response to the current situation and are working closely with survivors to identify essential needs, connect them with resources and provide support.
They need help now more than ever, and funds raised from our “Virtual Wonder Run” will go towards their Survivors Emergency Fund.
Family Promise Metrowest
Did you know that eight years old is the average age of someone that is homeless in Massachusetts? The mission of Family Promise Metrowest is to transform the lives of families with children who are homeless by mobilizing a diverse community to provide shelter, education and comprehensive support. Due to COVID-19, they’ve had to adapt their usual method of sheltering families, which comes at a higher cost. The families they serve are also facing new unemployment. Please help raise critical funds to help their mission during this crisis.
About the Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club
The Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club is a group of women who work side-by-side to make a meaningful difference in the community by raising money and giving time to help those in need. The club creates dynamic fundraising events that celebrate the community and tap into the generosity of those around us. With the money raised, we give scholarships to deserving high school students and we fund programs that make a positive impact in the community, such as an anti- bullying campaign for middle school students.
We also volunteer with organizations that are making a real difference, giving our time to help children with special needs, the elderly and families in crisis. The work that we do helps address some of the biggest challenges facing our society: mental health, hunger, access to education, poverty and domestic violence. And along the way, lasting friendships are created while we work side-by-side. In a world where problems are complex and the news is often bad, we’re making a measurable difference
where we can — right here at home. For more information about our annual fundraisers and charitable giving, please go to www.whjwc.com.