There are plenty of opportunities during Thanksgiving week to give back to the community and serve your fellow Tennesseans, whether it’s serving meals, delivering food or helping out at shelters. We encourage you to visit Hands on Nashville for opportunities and search for nonprofits at GivingMatters.com this week and throughout the season. But perhaps you’re someone who needs a little more exercise, excitement and competition with your philanthropy. Or maybe you want to give back this week and burn off some calories in the process. We find this completely acceptable and hope to help. Our site currently lists several runs and walks in Middle Tennessee to get you going for a good cause this week. Be sure to check our fundraiser and Thanksgiving pages to see what else has popped up. Happy Thanksgiving!
Perhaps the most notable of Thanksgiving Day runs is The Boulevard Bolt. A collaborative effort of Immanuel Baptist Church, St. George’s Episcopal Church and The Temple Congregation Ohabai Sholom in Nashville, the Boulevard Bolt has grown from 2,500 participants in 1994 to over 8,500 participants in 2013. Today, the Boulevard Bolt ranks among the largest 5-mile races in the country. Every year, people all over Nashville and beyond come together to run or walk the 5-mile course on Belle Meade Boulevard. It has donated $2,500,000 to the homeless community in Nashville.
The 4th Annual Music City Thanksgiving Day 8/4 Miler Run/Walk, benefiting Nashville Rescue Mission, starts at the Mission on Lafayette Street, strolls through the streets of downtown Nashville, circle Nissan Stadium and finishes back at Mission. You enjoy an exhilarating holiday race with your family, while bringing joy to the lives of the less fortunate in Middle Tennessee. Race organizers are also asking everyone to bring a frozen turkey to packet pickup or on race day to be donated to the Mission. 1,000 turkeys, which will be delivered to the Nashville Rescue Mission following the race!
On Thanksgiving Day, about an hour west in Dickson, Tenn., The Give ‘N Gobble 5K , Kids Turkey Chase Fun Run, Kids 1 Mile Run and GG5K Virtual 5K races support the Dickson County Help Center. In 2014, the event raised $14,000 for the Dickson County Help Center, which exists to provide Christian spiritual guidance, emotional comfort and physical support for those persons caught in a temporary situation of need through the prudent use of gifts donated by the citizens and businesses of Dickson County. Registration is open now.
The Gobble Wobble 5K began four years ago in honor of a child in the Lewisburg community who was battling a rare form of brain cancer and being treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The race has been held each year since, with 100% of the profit going to St. Jude’s. The event takes place at Rock Creek Park in Lewisburg, Tenn., about an hour south of Nashville.
Not necessarily a fundraiser, but anytime you can get out in nature it’s a good thing. Burn off some calories and enjoy the late autumn splendor on a Ranger lead hike at Johnsonville State Historic Park, about 1.5 hours west of Nashville in New Johnsonville, on Friday, November 27 at 1 p.m. The 6.2 miles “out where the turkeys trot” should take about 3 hours and traverse over easy to moderate terrain. Once inside the park; follow the signs that say “1pm Hike” to meet the Park Ranger at the trailhead. The hike is free.
The Battle of Franklin Trust commemorative 5K Run/Walk and Kids’ Fun Run, on Saturday, November 28 at 7:15 a.m, welcomes runners and walkers of all ages to support the care and maintenance of The Carter House and Carnton Plantation. Registration and start line is at Carnton.
Of course, you can also create your own personal run, walk or hike this Thanksgiving weekend, at any of Middle Tennessee’s many beautiful municipal or state parks. Many of these parks have”Friends of …” nonprofits that maintain them, so you could always turn that run, walk or hike into your own personal fundraising event by giving back to those “Friends of ….” organizations.