Proposal: Running Free Alaska (RFA)

Alaska Women’s Giving Circle Grant Proposal, November 2015

Name of Nonprofit Organization: Running Free Alaska (RFA)

Project Name: Running Free Alaska

Your Name: Kirsten Anderson

Short Project Description (less than 25 words):

This project helps Running Free Alaska purchase shoes and sports bras for incarcerated women participating in our running programs at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center.

The Big Why (less than 500 words):

The vast majority of Alaska’s female prison inmates share four common traits: poverty, mental illness; substance abuse; and a history of physical and/or sexual trauma. While this does not excuse their crimes it does provide context that helps to frame our attitude toward their recovery. At Running Free Alaska we are not a rehab program, but rather an adjunct to the broader treatment milieu. We focus on our participants as only runners and provide them an outlet free from judgement where they can experience how running can be an instrument of control in their chaotic existence. The lessons learned in training become a metaphor for life–how to connect to the community; handle setbacks; build up for an event; all serve to help them break free from the cycle of incarceration.

When Running Free Alaska first incorporated back in 2012, the Alaska Women’s Giving Circle was the first organization to provide us with financial backing. We consider this a very important part of our origin story. The early support from AWGC confirmed for our founders that we had a viable program for the already crowded non-profit marketplace in Alaska. In the ensuing years, funds from AWGC have provided shoes and bras for literally 100’s of women trying break free from the cycle of incarceration. We sincerely hope the AWGC will continue our successful partnership.

The Bottom Line (how much, less than 100 words):

$2250 for the purchase of 30 pairs of running shoes ($75 each)

$750 for the purchase of 30 sports bras ($25 each)

Total request: $3000

Note that our partnership with Skinny Raven Sports allows us to purchase running gear at 30-50% off retail prices. We pledge to stretch each dollar entrusted to us as far was we can!

Additional Information:

In the news—Here is an article about one of our runners finding success on the outside: