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By Molly Fincher, World Ark writer

Anyone who takes on the physical challenge of distance running knows that  half the battle is mental. How will you find the motivation to put in hours, weeks, months of training? For Jane and Carrol Overend, motivation comes from knowing that because they run for Team Heifer, their efforts will have a positive impact not just on themselves, but on the world.

Crossing the finish line

When Jane Overend decided to go for a half-marathon last summer, she signed up for the closest race to her home in Berwyn, Pennsylvania: the Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Inspired by her daughter, Carrol Overend decided to join her. “Jane motivated me, so we’re doing it together,” she
explained.

The duo found further motivation when they joined Team Heifer and started looking for people to sponsor their race. They raised more than $1,000 to help end hunger and poverty around the world, and knowing that their run was helping others helped the Overends stay committed to the challenge.

Team Heifer is the newest way you can take action to help Heifer end hunger and poverty. Athletes of any skill level can join and turn their next race, whether it’s a run, walk, bike or roller skate for that matter, into a fundraiser for Heifer. By doing so, their hard work, sweat and support from family and friends can make the world a better place.

How To Join Team Heifer

  • Go to TeamHeifer.org to find a race, or pick your own.
  • Create a fundraising page (it’s easy!). Share the story of why you’re running for Team Heifer.
  • Ask for support. Let your friends and family know that you’re taking action and that they can be part of it!
  • Suit up. Earn cool gear when you meet your fundraising goals. You get a Team Heifer soft T-shirt just for registering!
  • Change lives. The money you raise will change lives for the better around the world.

Many athletes find that turning their endeavors into fundraisers is not only rewarding in spirit, but it also helps them stay motivated and give it their best. “I find it very motivating to run for a charity. When I’m running, I think about trying to help people,” Carrol Overend said.

Jane Overend found that running for a charity works because people know how hard it is to run long distances and are eager to show their support. “I sent out an email to friends, family, neighbors just to see who would be willing to support, and I found that a lot of people were willing to support,” she said with pleasant surprise. “They were really excited to help.”

Of course, there are a lot of charities out there to support. Jane Overend picked Heifer International in part because of her interest in international development, which she discovered through studying environmental science in school.

“I love the goals of Heifer and the work that Heifer does in other countries to support local communities that really just need help, and they need people to support them. This will hopefully really make an impact in their communities and their lives.”

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