Run, cycle, or skate to your personal
best in some of the world's most desirable sporting
competitions - but it's not all just about you - it's about
the team, which includes a very special member.
You've always wanted to run a marathon, bike a century ride, race
on inline skates, or go for a triple-header in a triathlon.
Wouldn't it be easier if you had a top-flight coach and a group of
supportive teammates? In one of the most inventive and successful
pairings of personal achievement and public good, The Leukemia
& Lymphoma Society's nationwide Team in Training program puts
coaches and small groups of amateur athletes together to train and
participate in competitions such as the Bermuda Marathon, a
beautiful course that follows the shoreline along coral and
flower-lined roads, or the Mardi Gras Marathon, which gives you all
the excuse you need to stay through the celebration, and party with
the best of them. Cycling your thing? Your team might be headed to
America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, a scenic
and awe-inspiring course that circumnavigates the lake and includes
two challenging climbs.
If this sounds less like traditional charity work and more like
meeting a personal challenge, then everyone has won, and it's a
sentiment that's catching on across the nation. Nearly half of U.S.
adults donated their time to fundraising and other charitable
activities in 2000, making up a volunteer workforce of 83.9 million
people. This figure represents the equivalent of more than 9
million full-time employees at a value of $239 billion, according
to Independent Sector, a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of more
than 700 national organizations. For the 1.23 million charities,
social welfare organizations, and religious congregations in the
United States, that's good news. The better news is that it's still
early enough in this new year to make a resolution or two, and in
that spirit, American Way looks at several worthy organizations,
the people who support them with time or money or expertise, and
the tenfold benefits they receive in return.