A month ago, Melody Simpson reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in setting up a 5K fundraiser. I think I terrified her with my response of “OMG YES LET’S DO THIS” (especially since I answered her, like, 5 seconds after she messaged me).

Neither of us really had any idea what we were doing, but after a bit of research and fumbling, we finally managed to put together something that we’re proud of–and SUPER excited for. So allow me to introduce the…

YA Runs a 5K

On July 19 Melody and I are running a 5K! (Though I might just be walking because I’m SO OUT OF SHAPE. Thus far my attempts at jogging have been…pitiful…at best. ;)) Our goal is to not only improve our fitness (and maybe yours too!) but—more importantly—to help children without access to books (more on that below or read more here).

The 5K we’re running is the Color Run in Philadelphia. Why the Color Run? Because it looks AWESOME. Why Philly? Because that’s where Eleanor Fitt is from (duh!)!! We’d love for you all to join us if you can, or if you can’t reach Philly on 7/19 (we totally understand!), then you can enter the Virtual Run instead! 🙂

That’s right–in addition to a physical 5K meet-up for the Color Run, we’re also hosting a Virtual Run! Virtual runners will get a virtual bib (that you can tweet, Facebook, Pin, whatever!) and can share their running progress with the #YARunsA5K hashtag! Learn more about the Virtual Run here.

Now, a little about what this donation/fundraiser thing is all about. Essentially, we’re trying to raise money for First Book. This organization provides access to new books for children in need. To date, First Book has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education by making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis.

To donate to our First Book fundraiserclick here. If you donate $39 or less, you can enter a giant raffle! See the raffle prizes here!

If you donate $40 or more, you automatically get a free book! (Yep, you read that right!) Once you’ve donated, scan the list of available titles and choose what you want. Then fill out this form or email us (yarunsa5k@gmail.com) to select your book. By donating financially to First Book, you can help us reach hundreds of children without access to books!

We’re also auctioning off books and critiques. Half of each auction will go into funding our team t-shirts (until we cover that cost, of course!), and all extra proceeds will go to First Book. 🙂

Additionally, if you can’t donate financially (we TOTALLY understand), you can donate books, ARCs, or critiques! By donating physical items to our fundraiser, you can help us increase our donations! We’re shooting for $2000 raised, and every item donated helps us get closer to that goal!

Finally, if you run with us and BRING books, you can help us expand the collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia. We’ll gather up all books brought to the Color Run on 7/19, and then we’ll donate them to the Free Library after the race.

So let’s do it, guys!! Let’s come together and RUN for healthiness, fun, and books! And help us spread the word using the #YARunsA5K hashtag and the link http://yarunsa5k.tumblr.com/about!! Thank you SOOOOO MUCH!

P.S. We have to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to all the agents, authors, and bloggers who have donated! We are beyond overwhelmed with the amount of support thus far! We can only imagine what’s ahead! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

P.P.S. Melody will be attending BEA as well as the Teen Author Carnival in NYC, so if you’re an author and would like to donate a book or if you’re a reader with too many ARCs lying around, feel free to reach out via twitter or email (yarunsa5k@gmail.com). Melody will gladly receive your donations. 🙂