A small group of teens from Interlake, Tesla STEM, and Lindbergh High School across the Greater Seattle Area have dedicated themselves to helping the local and global communities by creating a viral Instagram challenge to raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts and raise awareness of the importance of exercising during the global quarantine. This campaign takes the form of a Plank challenge where each participant is asked to post a simple video or picture of themselves doing a plank and to tag five friends and the @StayRunning Instagram account, in return StayRunning will pledge $1 to be donated to COVID-19 relief efforts for each story.
StayRunning was founded in September of last year with the goal of educating the current running community about proper form and technique and inspiring the next generation of runners. StayRunning has been working to accomplish these goals with youth outreach programs in local elementary and middle schools, as well as educational events with local physical therapists speaking about relevant running health topics. However, both of these events and all related plans have been postponed indefinitely as StayRunning waits for guidance from local authorities to know when it is safe to return to normal operation.
In the wake of K-12 schools closing and statewide stay-at-home orders, the StayRunning team launched into action to find a way to continue its mission despite being physically disconnected from the community. StayRunning initially launched a set of blog posts on the StayRunning blog teaching the community about how to stay active and safe during the crisis. These blog posts include recommendations on what to do while stuck at home and precautions to take while running outside.
However, the team felt that this information was already widely known and strongly felt that there was still more they could be doing. There was a large opportunity to promote exercising and going outside as many local authorities have been advising those stuck at home to stay active to go outside. Additionally, they wanted to find a way to promote exercise while contributing to alleviating the crisis that was already devastating so many lives both in the local community, and the international community.
This was the context that led to the creation of the StayRunning plank challenge. The idea is simple, by having people to do this challenge, they could generate traffic to the StayRunning Instagram page and website where they could spread more information about staying active and being safe. At the same time, they could pledge StayRunning money, seek corporate sponsors, and ask for donations to help COVID-19 relief efforts and save lives.
The StayRunning team consists of thirteen teenagers from three high schools across the Greater Seattle Area. Every team member is not paid in any way and works only to help the community, additionally, all funds and donations StayRunning receives go directly towards our youth outreach or educational event programs or other relevant outreach programs.
The StayRunning team includes:
- Anushri Rao
- Arnav Chawla
- Durva Patil
- Emily Chang
- Isabella Bono
- Kaeden Brinkman
- Paul Pachikara
- Phillip Cutter
- Sam Mahlman
- Shreeya Lingam
- Sidd Pachikara
- Sohum Sanu
- Yuta Fukazawa
The Plank Challenge is quite simple. StayRunning will donate $1 to COVID-19 relief efforts for every Instagram user who does the following:
- Post a picture or video of you doing a plank on your story
- Tag 5 friends to do the challenge
- Share the announcement post or tag @StayRunning
- (Optional) Post your best plank time if you want to compete with friends
StayRunning is asking every user to tag five friends to encourage others to also stay active during the time stuck at home. StayRunning is also asking every user to tag @StayRunning or share the announcement post so we can use the growth of this challenge as a means of spreading more information about staying safe and active during the quarantine. Finally, StayRunning is recommending those who feel comfortable posting their plank times to do so. This can promote a sense of competition between friends which can lead to people pushing themselves and exercising just to try to beat a friend’s plank time or simply show off.
StayRunning will be donating to four organizations that are working to help those affected by the current pandemic. These organizations include
- The Center for Disaster Philanthropy
- Feeding America
- Modest Needs Foundation
- American Red Cross
You can learn more about the challenge specifics or the organizations we are donating to on our announcement page.
The StayRunning team is seeking press coverage about this challenge to spread awareness about exercising during the quarantine and further our cause. StayRunning is also a small non-profit with a small budget for this challenge so StayRunning is seeking partners large and small to pledge money to be donated to COVID-19 relief efforts. StayRunning has also compiled a sponsorship packet for organizations interested in supporting our cause.