With spring right around the corner (hallelujah!), this is the perfect time to sign up—and start training—for a charity run or walk. It may provide just the right dose of fitspiration you need, especially when you know you'll be sweating it out for a great cause. Below, your guide to fundraising events that will be held across the country in the months ahead.
For breast cancer
The Susan G. Komen Organization is best known for its challenging Susan G. Komen 3-Day, a 60-mile walk that has drawn more than 500,00 participants and crew since 2003, and raised more than $8 million for research and treatment programs. But it's just one of the many events the nonprofit hosts, including the 5K Komen Race for the Cure.
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For leukemia and lymphoma
The Light the Night Walk, held in the evening in more than 200 communities in North America, is put on by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, to raise both awareness and funds. In this unique event, survivors carry white lanterns; supporters carry red lanterns; and people walking in memory of loved ones lost carry gold lanterns.
For pancreatic cancer
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has an inspiring goal: To double the survival rate of this terrible disease, one of the deadliest types of cancer, by the year 2020. The Purple Stride event, which includes both a 5K and a family-friendly walk, is one key way the organization is raising funds for research.
For multiple sclerosis
Walk MS is a series of events that attracts about 330,000 people every year in cities and towns nationwide. The charity has been raising money since 1988 to fund research and to provide support for those living with the disease. To participate, you can either register as an individual, or start or join a team (of, say, your friends or coworkers).
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For brain tumors
Rides, walks, 5Ks, 10Ks—the National Brain Tumor Society hosts a variety of events around the country. The groups missing: To raise money to support the nearly 700,000 Americans living with brain tumors.
For families affected by disabilities
Over the last 13 years, Walk With Me events (including 5K races) have raised nearly $41 million for Easter Seals, which provides services for people with disabilities and special needs, and their families.
For Make-A-Wish America
The funds raised through Walks for Wishes help make dreams come true for kids fighting life-threatening diseases. Thanks to donations, a wish is granted on average, every 37 minutes, in the U.S. and its territories, according to the foundation.
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The annual 5K Walk To Cure Arthritis supports research for the nation’s number one cause of disability. More than 70 events are scheduled through the end of August.
For heart disease
The Heart Walk is one of the American Heart Association’s most popular events. The groups mission: To save more lives from heart disease (the number one killer in the U.S.) and stroke (the fifth leading cause of death in this country). This year, 1 million walkers are expected to participate in more than 300 cities.
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For kidney disease
The Kidney Walk is held in almost 100 communities to raise money for free community screenings, education, and other programs that help combat this disease that affects some 26 million Americans, according to the National Kidney Foundation.