Right when I moved to New York, a friend who works in affordable housing in Queens brought me to a Back on my Feet orientation, where I remember a specific BomF member saying he was shy and didn't like speaking in front of groups of people.
About a month later, I was on the sixth floor of the NYC Rescue Mission listening to that same member speak at our team meeting. In the Mission surrounded by Team City Hall, he confidently spoke to the group with a beaming smile, his message along the lines of "This isn't about running or fitness; it's about a team who lifts each other up and wants to make a positive change in their lives."
The trust at that team meeting was infectious - it takes a lot of teamwork and encouragement to actually enjoy a 5:45am run, especially in February. Most importantly, I saw this team embodying the potential of fitness to build confidence and trust, which has been a recurring, invaluable theme in my life since I started running.
It goes without saying that I'm benefitting from this "charity" involvement, but BomF directly changes lives every day, outside of runs, by helping with hidden housing and employment costs for its members. I've seen (and enjoyed) their success, and I chose to fundraise for them because I know how effective they are at improving lives.