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‘Don’t Give Up’: Advice from Top 75 Mile Challenge Fundraisers

Across the country, people have signed up to walk or run 75 miles this July, while fundraising on Facebook to help us support families and communities impacted by disasters both big and small. And we encourage you to join us! (Details on how at the bottom of this post.)

We spoke to a few of our top fundraisers from our April 75 Mile Challenge on how they’re connected to the Red Cross, what motivated them to participate, and their best fundraising tips.

Patrick Flinchum

What’s your connection to the Red Cross?
I started giving blood last year and want to help others in need. There are so many out there struggling and I just want to give back and help any way I can.

What motivated you to raise money on behalf of the Red Cross?
To help individuals and families impacted by natural disasters. It is great knowing that others can be helped when they are going through a difficult time when they need it most. The Red Cross is an amazing organization and does so much for the community and I am so happy to support such an amazing organization.

What are your top fundraising tips for future 75 Mile Challenge participants?
Post your journey and share with friends and family. Don’t be afraid to ask others because if you don’t ask you will never know.

What is your top tip for running 75 miles in 31 days?
You have 31 days to complete and can chip away at the mileage each day. Don’t Give Up. Keep pushing because you can do this.

Jennifer Jett Prezkop

What’s your connection to the Red Cross?
I am the Disaster Workforce Engagement Manager for the Central Appalachia Region. I joined the Red Cross as a staff member in January 2020, and prior to that my only engagement with the Red Cross was in 2016 when West Virginia was hit with historic flooding that impacted my hometown.

What motivated you to raise money on behalf of the Red Cross?
As the Disaster Workforce Engagement Manager, I see the frequency of disasters around the country, I see the impact of disasters on communities, and I hear from our volunteers the impact the Red Cross has after a disaster. I spend my days and many evenings and weekends doing my part to contribute to disaster response/relief from behind the scenes, and the 75 Mile Challenge enabled me to take my efforts to a different level by getting out in front of my peers on social media and taking action.

What are your top fundraising tips for future 75 Mile Challenge participants?
When I created my fundraiser event, I invited most of my friends list, and then I shared the event on my personal Facebook page. I decided about a week before the challenge that I was going to create a list of 75 reasons to support the Red Cross and would post one reason for each mile I ran. This was a lot of work, but I knew that if even one person read the facts each day and walked away with a better understanding of the Red Cross, it was a win. I posted on Facebook every day that I ran and even on some days I didn’t run so I could keep my followers engaged and maintain front of mind awareness. Everyone who donated got a special, individualized thank you post from me on the fundraiser page.

What are your top tips for running 75 miles in 31 days?

  • Run on the first day of the challenge. I knew if I missed that first day, I would set myself up for failure. Starting on Day 1 was critical to my completion of the challenge.
  • Make a plan for how you’re going to get 75 miles done in a month and stick with it.
  • Tell absolutely everyone you are going to do the challenge and put it on Facebook.
  • Take care of your body, hydrate, eat foods that will give you fuel. Rest. Stretch. Ice and Advil as needed.
  • Typically when I run, I listen to an audiobook or crime podcast. Since I did 95% of the challenge on a treadmill at my house.
  • Revel in those post-run endorphins, and celebrate when you cross the virtual finish line. I cried when I completed the 75th mile.

Tara Jones

What’s your connection to the Red Cross?
I don’t really have any connection, rather I just believe it is an extraordinary organization doing absolutely amazing work. Everything the American Red Cross provides to those in need and the help they supply to military families is of utmost importance and it was an honor to be part of their efforts.

What motivated you to raise money on behalf of the Red Cross?
I am a runner who stays motivated by running for a purpose. I gained a lot of appreciation for the Red Cross after having to sign blood transfusion forms during the very scary emergent birth of my daughter. It made it slightly less traumatic knowing there were bags of blood available and at my bedside in the event they were necessary.

What are your top fundraising tips for future 75 Mile Challenge participants?
Share your story, share your progress, share your journey, share the mission and objectives of the American Red Cross.

What is your top tip for running 75 miles in 31 days?
Believe in yourself. Run with your heart. Stay positive. Have fun!

Sign Me Up! 

To register for the July 75 Mile Challenge, follow the steps below:

  1. Join the July 75 Mile Challenge group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/185284730174729/
  2. Register in Messenger to log your miles: https://m.me/AmericanRedCrossFundraisers?ref=sconnect–N75
  3. Start a fundraiser: https://fundraisers.goodunited.io/ARC-75R-N-JUL21