Some people only run to things or from things. But Bridget King runs for something. This autumn she’s running for a chance to build a Toronto where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
She is lacing up her shoes to tackle the 42.2 km Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Sunday, October 16. Her goal is not only to finish the race but to bring vital fundraising dollars for WoodGreen across the finish line with her. Bridget and the members of her running group, We Run North York, have chosen to support WoodGreen as part of The TCS Charity Challenge.
“It was really important for our club to work with a local charity partner,” says Bridget who, when she’s not running, works as a recruiter with IBM. “Giving back to our community is a huge part of who we are as a running club.”
Seeing the changes WoodGreen brings
Deciding which charity to support could have been a difficult decision, but Bridget says she knew immediately who the group should fundraise for. That’s because, for the last five years, she has sat on the Homeward Bound Industry Council, working with WoodGreen’s unique program for at-risk single mothers. She has seen, firsthand, the real and lasting impact Homeward Bound has on the participants and their children. The mothers get an apartment and child care for their children, while they upgrade their education and then receive a two-year college diploma, the tuition fees for which are funded by WoodGreen donors.
“Homeward Bound is such an amazing program, and learning about its impact in Toronto really hit home with a lot of our runners.”
Making a small impact is rewarding
In her free time, Bridget mentors the young mothers at Homeward Bound, providing career advice, resume help, corporate etiquette and interview prep and supporting their transition into the workforce.
“It’s been so rewarding to see their journey, even though we’re only making a very small impact on a larger picture.”
There are already 50 runners from the We Run North York group signed up to run either the full marathon or the half marathon, while a handful are planning to tackle the 5km race. The runners are men and women and range in age from elementary school students to those in their 70s.
Bridget only took up running as a hobby four years ago. At age 29, next month’s marathon will be her first attempt at going the full distance. “I would just like to finish,” she says, admitting she is both nervous and excited.
Many ways to support runners and their cause
The group will have a cheer station set up at the 41 km mark on the race for people to cheer the runners on. The group is still looking for more runners and donors to support their efforts to raise as much money as possible for WoodGreen.
If you’re interested in running any distance of the race, you can register here.
To lend your support to any of the runners racing for WoodGreen, click here.