Cape Town - What do you do with your race medals? Be honest: they’re often forgotten about, destined to remain in the bottom drawer of your cupboard, collecting dust.
We all have that one drawer in our homes, full to the brim of old, dusty race medals - which serve no purpose. Surely there is a home where those medals can be appreciated? The Runner’s World Team decided to make a difference.
Runner's World heard through the grapevine that The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital hands out ‘bravery’ medals to their young patients. Which got us thinking ... surely these courageous children would appreciate our old racing medals more than our inanimate cupboards do! That’s when we decided to make a difference.
We put out a strong call-to-action on social media, calling for Cape Town Marathon participants to donate their unwanted medals.
Why would we need race medals?
The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital cares for over 260 000 sick and terminally ill patients per year, one third of whom are younger than one. Post-surgery, every child is given a ‘medal of bravery'; an old race medal donated to the hospital by a runner or cyclist. Many of these sick children never get a chance to leave the hospital, so this medal is extremely symbolic for the child receiving it.
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Our campaign gained lots of momentum and had an incredibly positive response online. The small collection box we took with us to the Cape Town Marathon expo was no match for the number of medals we received. Little did we know, or anticipate, that the public would come with boxes and bags packed to the brim with medals, of all shapes and sizes, and from all corners of the globe. Our stand started a conversation: more people pledged to bring their medals to our offices or donate them directly to the Hospital.
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One generous man alone dropped off 1 500 medals, collected by himself and his family!
Needless to say, we have 14 693 bravery medals ready to be donated to the children. The Runner’s World Team would like to say a huge thank you to every single person who donated: we were overwhelmed by your generosity and spirit!
Should you wish to donate medals, you are welcome to drop them off at The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Klipfontein Road, Rondebosch.