Last year, more than 38,000 donors logged on to GiveMN.org and contributed more than $14 million to 3,434 Minnesota nonprofits, whose missions range from feeding the hungry, to protecting the environment, to promoting the arts.
This year’s Great Minnesota Give Together takes place on November 16 from midnight to midnight!! Every donation counts and supports an organization of your choice!
New in 2010, GiveMN will offer several incentives to encourage nonprofit and donor participation in Give to the Max Day, including:
A $20,000 and $10,000 prize grant will be awarded to the top two nonprofits in the Twin Cities and the top two nonprofits in Greater Minnesota that attract the largest number of individual donors on Give to the Max Day.
Throughout the 24-hour event, an individual donor will be randomly chosen every hour to have an additional $1,000 given to the charity that received the donor’s original donation.
Donors will have the opportunity to double their dollars for hundreds of featured nonprofits that have secured matching funds for Give to the Max Day.
YWCA provides a variety of services to pretty much every population. They focus primarily on racial justice and empowering women and girls. In Minneapolis they also operate 3 fitness facilities. We are a member of the YWCA.
YMCA also provides a variety of services and operates a lot of fitness facilities around Minneapolis and the West Metro. Some of our friends work for the YMCA, though none of their facilities are conveniently located for us.
ALARC Active Life and Running Club is another local running group that “promotes fitness and friends”. They also sponsor the ALARC Wall at the 20 mile mark in the Twin Cities Marathon.
She Runs She Runs provides a 10 week running program for girls aged 9-14 that guides them to complete a final 5k race.
Here are some organizations that we gave to last year and will give to again this year:
Elpis Enterprises has been another great partner for my work in MN. Elpis or Hope provides teenagers the opportunity to gain work-related skills and leadership through screen printing and other businesses. My first encouter with Elpis was with their bird feeder program. We bought kits and Paul brought out one of his employees and they helped my kids build 20 bird feeders in 1 hour!
Achieve Minneapolis is more or less a foundation that supports programs within the Minneapolis Public Schools. They provide grants for classrooms, teacher professional development, field trips, host career fairs, and much much more.
CommonBond Communities provides affordable housing and supportive services in the Twin Cities. I put CommonBond under youth development because I volunteered with them during the summer of my Americorps*VISTA service. I served as a program assistant in a summer program that combined fun and learning during the afternoons for children residents of the Seward Towers. They provide many more services to their residents.
World Relief helps refugees adjust to life in Minnesota and America. This is the umbrella organization for the English literacy site that Christy and I co-coordinate. They also provide job training, initial welcoming services, housing assistance and much more to refugees as they walk off the plane and into the sometimes harsh tundra of MN.
Minnesota Public Radio is a great news source for both local and national issues. They also have a rocking music station that plays a lot of local bands.
Second Harvest of the Heartland is a large food bank that is helping to end hunger in MN. It is affiliated with the national Feeding America (formerly Second Harvest Network) and does some great work here in the Twin Cities.
Give to the Max Day was created to increase giving to nonprofits across the state. All donations on Give to the Max Day will be made through GiveMN.org, a first-of-its-kind giving website that helps Minnesotans discover, support and engage with nonprofits. GiveMN also lets donors manage their charitable giving by recording online contributions and storing receipts.
Throw in a plug for your favorite MN non-profit in the comment section.
I had a lot of fun cheering for all of the runners at this year’s Twin Cities Marathon. I wasn’t sure which of my friends were actually running, so I was caught by surprise as a few of them ran past. My wife said I looked scary, but I was dressed to be riding my bike on what started in the sub-40’s temp wise and warmed up quite nicely.
I met up with my friend Brad, who also happens to be the regional coordinator for Team World Vision. We did a lot of cheering for the Team World Vision folks. Brad brought a bullhorn which you heard right before mile 15 and 26. He was pretty funny on the bullhorn and most of the runners really enjoyed his cheering and antics. Several people requested he cheer for certain runners! At mile 26 a woman actually stopped running and did a somersault for us!
We cheered for pretty much everyone who went by and I cheered specifically for the friends that I saw, but the Team World Vision – orange jersey stands out and so I was able to get some good pictures of them. Below I created short video:
30 Days of Biking is an idea started here in the Twin Cities to get people out on their bikes. September marks round 2 of this attempt. The initial 30 Days of Biking was in April of this year and had high turnout both locally and around the world. Part of the success was using social media tools like Twitter and the #30daysofbiking hashtag, Dailymile and of course Facebook.
There is only one rule to 30 Days of Biking:
… you bike every day for 30 days—around the block, 20 miles to work, whatever suits you—then share your adventures online. We believe biking enriches life, builds community, and preserves the Earth.
Pretty simple eh? It should be fairly simple to get on your bike and pedal somewhere each day – work, grocery, friends house, down the street and back…
I wanted to participate in April’s event, but I wasn’t able to bike thanks to Lyme Disease! I’m excited to do it this time around. Even though I already bike pretty much everywhere I think it will be a good challenge to actually make myself ride somewhere each day.
While you don’t need to, the organizers are encouraging everyone to register. It is painless to register and you still have time to ride today!
You can buy shoes almost anywhere it seems. But runners tend to be a little more picky about shoes that are going to carry them over the miles. Most runners tend to prefer a good quality running shoe or the growing trend of going barefoot. Even barefooters need clothing and accessories. So I’ve compiled a list of the “running specialty stores” in the Twin Cities metro area. I’ve commented as best I can on them. I’ve listed the Top 5, followed by a few others! I hope this list is helpful and please provide feedback on your experiences.
Run N Fun – St Paul, Burnsville If you were to ask most of the guys I run with, they would say this is the only running store to visit. The Burnsville store just opened last year and their St Paul store was in the news due to a robbery. Their staff is extremely knowledgeable and experienced. The St Paul store, which I’ve been to a few times, covers 3 or 4 store fronts and offers quite a range of merchandise. Like most of the other stores they offer a great discount for local running clubs (I know the MDRA and USATF-MN). They have a Facebook group that shares photos, upcoming events, and information. Finally, Run N’ Fun is the choice of most of the local college teams.
Marathon Sports – Minneapolis This is probably the running store I’ve been in the most. The MDRA training groups have had special discounted events there. Most recently I won a gift certificate from the MDRA Annual Party. They are known for having a doctor in the store twice a month. They are also located a block from Lake Harriet. I’ve always been impressed with the staff and the products they offer. The last event hosted there included post-run bagels and drinks plus a special discount (larger than the normal MDRA).
Running Room – Minneapolis, Burnsville, Woodbury, St Paul, Rochester, and Maple Grove This is the closest store to our house and I’ve been there a few times. They are the most “corporate” of the specialty stores. Running Room is a chain of stores in Minnesota, Iowa, and Canada. I was not overly impressed with their staff the few times I’ve been there. But they have some amazing sales. One thing that sets the Running Room apart is their marketing machine. It helps to have the large corporate backing (i.e. not being family owned) but they have a monthly newsletter and sales.
Gear – Edina I’ve never actually been into this store. Some friends of mine really love it and say it is one of the best running stores. Here is their Facebook Fan Page. It is actually very close to Marathon Sports.
TC Running Company – Eden Prairie We visited this store one night for a Team USA-Minnesota event. Nothing really stands out to me about that brief experience. They sponsor a team and have an RV that makes appearances at races. Their Athlinks page has some great info.
Other Running Stores
I included some “corporate” stores, because they do sell running shoes and occasionally the staff can be very helpful. In college we actually went to Finish Line. They didn’t really provide much technical help, but we got a good discount.
Schuler’s Shoes (Twin Cities New Balance) – Bloomington, Burnsville, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, Roseville, Saint Cloud, St Louis Park, and Woodbury
Runner’s Edge – St Paul Their website doesn’t work and the phone rings and rings. Anyone know if they are open still?