Volunteering and Fun Run

I scored a pretty sweet volunteer gig – if I do say so myself! I’m helping to write some blog posts for the MN/Dakotas Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). I’ll be writing patient and volunteer profiles and highlighting some of the CCFA services and events on their blog: Digest This — Stories from IBD Patients.

It’s pretty sweet because, if you’re reading this, you already know I like blogging. 😉 I also love the idea of helping to share stories about people living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis as well as the volunteers who support CCFA. This past weekend I got to attend a CCFA Pediatric Support Group to write a blog post about it. It was humbling to hear the stories of these young kids and their parents as they navigate their way through the ups and downs of these diseases. (P.S. The kids are rock stars!) The group offers a great opportunity to get questions answered and make connections with others so they know they’re not alone. I wish I had known about a group like this when I was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, but I’m grateful that I’ve found resources now and that I’ve always had family love and support.  I just submitted my first two posts, so I’ll be sure to let you know when they’re up on the blog!

Speaking of CCFA, I did a fun run 5K on Sunday to help raise money for a friend running the half marathon in Las Vegas with Team Challenge next weekend. I met her and her husband when I did Team Challenge last year. Check out those recaps here, here, and here. Since they’re heading to Las Vegas, there was a really cool activity during the run. When we got to the start, we drew a card from the deck. Then, at three more locations on the 5K a volunteer gave you another card. You got your final card at the finish. They had prizes for the best poker hands! There was also one Joker card, and if you drew that you automatically won a prize. Guess who drew the Joker – me! I got this cool wine carrier complete with a bottle of wine.

wine prize

Hearing people talk about heading to Las Vegas with Team Challenge makes me reminisce about last year. Still, hands down, one of the best race experiences ever. I’m starting to think about when I can do Team Challenge again. Not sure if the Las Vegas race will fit with my other 2015 race goals (more on those later) because of the timing in the fall, but Team Challenge will be going to the Jamestown half marathon and Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country half marathon in July, so those are contenders.

What volunteer activities do you do? Have you ever won a cool prize at a race?