5th Annual Community Giving Grants Awarded

Minneapolis, Minn. – MDRA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Run Minnesota, is pleased to announce the 2021 Community Giving Grant Awardees; Mile in My Shoes, the Patrick Henry & Minneapolis North High School Cooperative Cross Country Team, Twin Cities Track Club Kids City XC League, and ReNew Earth Running. These applicants were chosen because they further the Foundation’s mission to promote youth participation; provide training and education to runners; and/or support the running community. 

Mile in My Shoes makes the physical and emotional benefits of running accessible to people experiencing homelessness, reentering the community after incarceration, and recovering from substance use. Since 2014, MiMS has helped 462 Resident Members run their first mile and brought more than 400 volunteer Run Mentors to run alongside them. As they say, “Every mile changes you.” MiMS will use the funding to support their operations as they transition back to in-person programming after a year of COVID-safe distanced running. This grant will also help them to sustain their newest team at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Minneapolis. 

Learn more about Mile in My Shoes.

The Patrick Henry High School & Minneapolis North High School Cooperative Cross Country Team is in north Minneapolis within a low-income community. Their team will use this grant to fund a full-time BIPOC assistant coach to increase diversity on their team and pay Black educators for their work. Coach Emily Noel said, “…In the recruitment of diverse athletes, it is crucial that they see themselves represented in the sport..” 

The Twin Cities Track Club Kids City XC League is an 8-week running program that teaches children entering grades 3-8 the fundamentals of distance running in a fun setting. These grant funds will allow them to increase staffing to reopen their Theodore Wirth location, creating access for up to 30 more children, and providing need-based scholarships for five participants partaking in this Fall’s program. 

more about the Kids City XC.

ReNew Earth Running (RER) is a new nonprofit with a mission of protecting and healing the environment by restoring land to the stewardship of Indigenous leadership. Their inaugural Haulin’ Pollen 5k is on August 21, 2021, and will benefit the Lower Phalen Creek Project, an Indigenous-led organization on St. Paul’s East Side that engages people in honoring and caring for natural places and the sacred sites and cultural value within them. They do this by providing environmental education, urban conservation and restoration, and cultural connections and healing. The grant will help defray some of the costs associated with the Haulin’ Pollen 5k so that more of the proceeds go to protect sacred sites and the environment. 

More information about the Haulin’ Pollen 5k.


Run Minnesota, formerly the Minnesota Distance Running Association, was established in 1961 and is a membership-supported group whose goal is to connect the Minnesota running community and support runners of all ages and abilities through education, programs, and advocacy. 

In 2017, the Minnesota Distance Running Association Foundation was established as a 501(c)(3) entity. The mission of the MDRA Foundation is: To promote youth participation; provide training and education to runners; and support the running community.