15-year-old Maya Mor was enjoying her freshman year at Minnetonka High School, where she runs cross-country and track. Then, COVID-19 hit the greater Twin Cities, and life changed.
"As the pandemic got worse, I felt helpless. There are so many people in our community risking their lives and making sacrifices while I am sitting at home- and I wanted to do something," Maya said.
She eats, sleeps, and breathes running, so Maya decided to combine her passion with a way to help her community in a time of need by creating the Stronger Together Virtual 5K. Maya raised nearly $12,000 for the Greater Twin Cities United Way’s COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund, where 100% of dollars raised go back into the community. Her original goal was $5,000- which she quickly blew out of the water!
"It was so exciting to get to the big day and have everything come together," Maya said. "Seeing everyone's photos in their race bibs and knowing we were helping those in need by raising money for the Greater Twin Cities COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund was so rewarding."
The event took take place on Saturday, April 18 and nearly 500 participants walked or ran 3.1 miles, equivalent to a 5K. Donations of all amounts were welcome, and everyone who gave $10 or more got a printed race bib. Prizes from local businesses were also given away through a drawing.
"When I was trying to decide where the money raised should go, I really wanted the dollars to stay in the Twin Cities,” Maya said. “I heard about Greater Twin Cities United Way’s COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund and thought, ‘Oh, this is amazing, United Way does a little bit of everything- food, jobs, housing.’ I felt like it was a perfect fit."
Maya says she hopes her idea to fundraise for a good cause will inspire others to give back during this difficult time.