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Do you know how a passion for running can be turned into making dreams for better health come true?

Four months ago, together with a group of enthusiastic colleagues, I started working on finding social causes we can contribute to and improve the situation in Bulgaria with different charity campaigns in SAP Labs Bulgaria. Let me share with you one of the projects of the SAP Labs Bulgaria CSR Core group – from the idea to the final contribution to people who are in need.

How did everything begin? For a second year in a row SAP Labs Bulgaria team won the Bulgarian corporate relay running race for teams of four.  One of the team members is also part of the volunteers group and a passionate runner – Nikolay Kabadzhov. He inspired the whole team to organize an internal charity run for SAP employees and their families, that on one hand will show them how fun and good for health running is and on the other hand the run will support specific sport related social causes with donations. This is how SAP Charity Run idea was born.

The place we chose was a very beautiful area in Vitosha mountain near Sofia. We decided that the spirit of this event and the location are a nice opportunity for colleagues to bring their whole families. Naturally we wanted to provide entertainment for children while their parents are running, so we bought a bunch of toys and invited everyone in to join.

The team found few causes and came up with a fun formula for donations. One round was 1.5 km and each person could decide how much he can do in 1 hour, some could even just walk but they had to go through the round to donate. The fun was that the more you run the more you donate. Each person could add a personal factor at the end and choose a specific cause where his/her money will be distributed.

The event itself took place on June 21 and despite the rain we managed to get together with the most enthusiastic colleagues and make the run – everybody in his own speed. It was exhausting for some of us (like me), who are not into running. But it was also up to each of us to set the pace – for example a mother and a child where walking together and picking up flowers and strawberries along the way. Everyone’s effort counted and the more experienced people encouraged and supported the new runners/walkers, so it was full of smiles, fun and positive energy.

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The amount of donations collected during the event was around 350 EURO. We all were very happy when our managing director Radoslav Nikolov liked the SAP Charity Run, so much that he supported us with additional donation that made the whole amount 1000 EURO. The money was then divided between two social causes in sports that gathered the most supporters: 1) Special Olympics games – bigger part of the expenses for one participant in this case this is the swimmer Yavor Mitev and 2) donation to “Sport for children with chronic diseases”, that provides swimming lessons for children with different diseases mostly with cerebral paralysis. This is how SAP Labs Bulgaria employees run for the benefits of others.

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It is clear for us that there are many challenges in Bulgaria and we cannot change everything alone but I’m extremely happy that I was part of the team who turned a passion into something that improves our colleagues’ health and helps other people who dream of sport. The whole organization of the event, the shared emotion and the final result made us realize that everything is possible when we are doing it TOGETHER.

Quotes from organizers and participants:

What motivates me to participate is the great opportunity to combine all in one: sport for my own health, contribute to a civil cause, and the possibility to meet friends and colleagues in an informal environment. SAP Charity Run rocksJ

Elitsa Petrova

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It’s always great to have the chance to do something good for the people in need and at the same time for yourself – and what can be better in a rainy Saturday morning than to do some running in the mountains.

Elena Angelova

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I liked the opportunity to help to people in need combined with my love to health and sport.

Kiril Stoyanov

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I liked very much the charity idea and also sport spirit of the initiative. For me personally it was the first organized running event I was involved itJ

Kremena Kabadzhova

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Keep dreaming, be passionate to help others around you and do not hesitate to join us in case you share our core values,

Magdalena Georgieva (on behalf of SAP Labs Bulgaria CSR Core Group)

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