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Team Healthy Kids: 28 Days of Running

While out for a casual run one day, Jessica Smith, 30, decided she wanted to do something to fight childhood obesity. For the coach and personal trainer, the decision was personal. Smith often struggled with her weight as a child. She believes her experiences help her understand the problems overweight kids face today and that she can help by teaching them the importance of an active, healthy lifestyle.

Committed to doing just that, she did some research online and discovered Action for Healthy Kids. She decided to help the organization raise money for its school-based programs that fight childhood obesity by joining its Team Healthy Kids peer fundraising program. It allows people to participate in fun activities and gather financial support for AFHK.

Smith created her own Team Healthy Kids event, 28 Days of Running, a month-long, fitness-focused fundraiser which took place during February, 2013. To promote 28 Days of Running, she spread the word through her training community, connected with sponsors and set up a Facebook page which drew significant news coverage about her efforts. Along with five friends, Smith ran an average of four miles a day for a total of 112 miles throughout the month. From the kickoff alone, the group collected $150. Overall, Smith and her friends raised $1,600 for Team Healthy Kids.

“I’m so excited about the amount of money we were able to raise and the amount of information we were able to get out to the community about Action for Healthy Kids!” she said.

She helps people reach their fitness goals on a daily basis and she’s always had a passion for helping kids live healthy. After graduating from high school, Smith coached volleyball and basketball at the junior high and high school levels for five years, and later, she graduated with a degree in Kinesiology and became a certified personal trainer. She believes in the power of staying healthy: “I train five to six days a week, mostly through running, circuit-style training and resistance training. I’m an endurance athlete, so I try to log a lot of miles,” Smith explained.

The 28 Days of Running event was her first experience working with Action for Healthy Kids and she definitely hopes to join forces again. In fact, Smith wants 28 Days of Running to become an annual fundraising event. After all, she’s found that raising money to fight childhood obesity can be both exciting and rewarding.

Find out more about Team Healthy Kids.

Categories: Team Healthy Kids