Kristen Kushner is running the 2023 runDisney Virtual Series. Hear Kristen’s experience and what it means to have A Gift for Teaching as a Celebrated Charity this year.

 As I look back on my journey of participating in races, my motivation has shifted from proving to myself that I could do it to creating memories with my loved ones. It all started as a personal goal, but eventually became something we did together. Whether we were training or participating in a race, it gave us a chance to bond and make unforgettable moments.

One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had was participating in the Disney Princess half marathon in 2013. The energy at the races is truly electrifying, from the volunteers and chEAR squad to the other participants cheering you on every step of the way. My family and I have been hooked on Disney races ever since, with my sisters and brother-in-law completing the Disney Marathon this year. Even just being in Epcot to cheer them on and support other runners made me beam with pride and shed a tear.

That’s why it means so much to me to know that A Gift for Teaching is a Celebrated Charity this year. Having been an Orange County public school teacher of 14 years and an A Gift for Teaching shopper for 13 years, the work they do for us teachers and our students is a blessing and deserves to be recognized. Through A Gift for Teaching, I can provide essentials like pencils, notebooks, backpacks, and more to students in need. Many students come to school carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders due to things happening at home or in their communities that are out of their control. Providing these items allows them to have one less thing to worry about while at school and can make a huge difference in their lives.

I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to such a meaningful cause and support my community in a tangible way. I hope that this will bring more exposure to the organization and attract more partnerships with other companies. The impact that A Gift for Teaching has on our students and teachers is immeasurable.