Outdoors

Festive Fun

Feel good about doing good

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Don’t be alarmed if, in coming days, runners dressed in snazzy seasonal fare such as ugly Christmas sweaters, Santa suits, fuzzy reindeer antlers or the latest in elf fashion cross your path. They’re doing so for a couple of important causes, and you’re invited to don your own costume and join them in solidarity.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions that have canceled most in-person events for the foreseeable future, both outings are virtual, meaning you and those in your quarantine pod won’t be on anybody’s schedule but your own when you leave the house dressed like a resident of the North Pole in the name of philanthropy.

Through Sat., Dec. 12, an “Oh What Fun it is to Run!” hosted by the Skagit Valley Family YMCA will be raising funds for Mount Vernon’s Oasis Teen Shelter, a program that supports teens in need throughout Skagit County by providing those ages 13 to 17 with a safe place to spend the night. Open 365 days a year, the nine-bed shelter operates on a first-come, first-served basis to youth who need a place to stay for up to three weeks—whether it’s because of family conflict, crisis, feeling unsafe at home, not having anywhere to go or just needing a healthy break from their family. Home-cooked meals, showers, laundry services and case managers are part of the package.

To take part in the inaugural outing and help the YMCA-run shelter, simply secure the ugliest Christmas sweater you can find, invite your family and friends to sign up, and then take a run when you can through Saturday. Choose from four different donation tiers offering a variety of holiday swag—icicle, snowflake, frosty or snow flurry—and wait for a break in the weather to get your blood pumping.

From Fri., Dec. 11 through Sun., Dec. 13, the Arthritis Foundation’s annual Jingle Bell Run will also go virtual—but don’t let that stop you from donning a Christmasy costume and showing your support.

“Whether you want to run your favorite 5K route, challenge yourself to something new or get moving on your treadmill, you can strut your stuff and feel good about doing good,” organizers say. “It is more important now than ever to ‘Jingle’ with us and support the Arthritis Foundation’s programs and services.

“Thanks to generous supporters, we’re helping 75 percent more people than before the pandemic get the help they urgently need,” they add. “Together, we’re investing in virtual and vital resources and programs for the millions of adults and children challenged by arthritis—to help them navigate these difficult times and access necessary care.”

For more information about these events, go to http://www.skagitymca.org or http://www.events.arthritis.org

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