On Saturday May 9th I participated in the 2nd Annual Lace Up for RAINN 5K. I was really looking forward to the event again this year since it had such a positive affect on my life and career as speaker and advocate for sexual assault awareness. Originally I found out about the event as a proud member of the RAINN Speakers Bureau.
The event is set up as a virtual 5K so you can join in with your team or as an individual from wherever you live at whatever time of that day is convenient and for someone like me who would be walking by myself it's perfect. The goal is "to raise awareness in a fun, approachable way and to connect with others who are passionate about the cause". Last year the event did just that for me. At the time JoAnnSpeaksOut only had a website and Twitter account so once I completed the 5K I posted my picture and comments on Twitter with all the hashtags and as a result I connected with an amazing girl (also a sexual assault survivor) from Michigan. We became fast friends over social media having many things in common and in part because of her I was inspired to start my blog which is now going strong almost a year later.
Within the past few months I have expanded my social media presence for JoAnnSpeaksOut onto Facebook and Instagram and knew I would be able to spread the message of Lace Up for RAINN much further. I even had the confidence this year to create a fundraising page with a template provided by the event organizers. I set a modest goal and with the help of my always supportive boyfriend who assisted me in spreading the message I reached that goal. Because of all those generous donations 10 victims of sexual abuse will receive the help they so desperately need and deserve.
The numbers came in for the 2015 Lace Up! RAINN reported 210 participants nationwide with 651 miles run in communities across the country to raise awareness. Most importantly $20,879 was raised to support more than 2,000 survivors of sexual assault.
My fundraising page will continue to be active through the end of May. If you are interested in helping to make an impact on the lives of many survivors please consider a donation.
JoAnnSpeaksOut Fundraising Page
Maybe next year I will go the next step and organize a team but for now here is my picture as an individual participant.