Volunteers With A Purpose, Inc.is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to match non-profit organizations with fund-raising opportunities with running races.
The Volunteers With A Purpose program was created by Timberline Events LLC of Englewood, CO. The purpose was to involve local non-profit organizations with Timberline Events' Roads Less Traveled Relay Race series, which has included races in Colorado, Vermont, Iowa, and Oregon.
In order to ensure that the relays are quality events, volunteers are needed to act as race marshals during the relays. As the relay routes travel through rural areas by design, it was necessary to enlist the help of the participating teams to make the staging of the relays possible. Therefore, all teams are required to choose one of the two options to help with the staffing of volunteers:
- to recruit friends or family to be volunteers
- make a tax-deductible donation to Volunteers With A Purpose, Inc. These funds go to local non-profit organizations that volunteer during the relay as a fund-raising opportunity.
To read an opinion piece to help understand Timberline Events' volunteer model, please click here.
Funds donated to VWAP are then passed on to local non-profit organizations that volunteer to be race marshals during the relay as a fund-raising opportunity. Since our first race in 2005, over $390,000 has been raised and distributed to non-profit organizations in Colorado, Oregon, Iowa, and Vermont.
COMMENTS FROM PARTICIPATING NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
The Relay helps us raise funds, we are a small club and short, intensive fund raising efforts help prevent volunteer burnout.
Steamboat Springs Kiwannis Club
Being a part of the Wild West Relay allows PEO Chapter CO to offer scholarships to international women who want to continue their education both in the United States and abroad. In addition, we partner with Project Self-Sufficiency to offer grants to women who are getting back into education and need financial assistance due to lack of support, resources, and/or time. PEO Chapter
The funds that we get from helping out with the Relay will be used to support our students during the school year. Red Feathers Elementary School
If we had not participated (in the Wild West Relay), this would mean a loss of funding for repair or replacement of critical equipment we use to save lives and primarily, to keep ourselves safe in the process. Larimer County Dive and Rescue
We thoroughly enjoy being a part of the WWR exchanges and organizing teams to run and fund-raise as well. This is such a great event that we get a lot of repeat runners and volunteers each year. We are able to serve more youth generally. The Matthews House
"Habitat for Humanity builds decent affordable housing in partnership with families in need. Most of the labor, sometimes land, and some of the materials are donated, but fundraising is a constant challenge, especially in small rural communities. We rely on cash donations, and special events such as yard sales and raffles, to raise the additional cash necessary the build a house. Enter Paul Vanderheiden, and the Green Mountain Relay Race. The race needed lots of warm bodies to staff the exchanges, and Central Vermont Habitat for Humanity has a large roster of volunteers anxious to do anything to help the cause. It's not construction, but nevertheless, we were able to muster coverage for the 10 exchanges between Stowe and Rochester, breaking the duties into 2 2-4 hour shifts at each exchange. Since we had so many people, no one had to commit too much time or lose all of a Saturday- family day. The responsibilities were clearly written up and all supplies were available as promised.
"It poured down rain all day for the 2006 Green Mountain Relay. But the runners were totally positive and kept the volunteers inspired. And the teams were so friendly and appreciative of the help we provided. It was really fun, despite the rain.
"As chairperson of the Habitat Chapter in Mad River Valley, VT, I am often involved with organizational things for the fundraisers. I can say that this event was well organized and everything went according to plan. Our group earned more than $1000 for the day's work, and it was easy and fun. So thank you! To all runners and teams that fund the Volunteers with a Purpose, for the opportunity to work (and play) with you. We'd love to do it again!"