Location: Greater Portland (nation wide eventually)
Project Team: Jacob Holz, Ned Swain, Liz Trice
GruntMatch’s three creators concluded that it was strange how many people pay to go to gyms to exercise, while many non-profits had great community improvement projects that were going undone due to a lack of labor. We organize athletic events so that people come together and accomplish these manual labor projects in a fun, social way, while getting a great workout. Community groups will benefit from free volunteer labor and get exposure to people who may not be aware of them.
How we are making Portland better place:
GruntMatch’s three creators all separately concluded that it was strange how many people (themselves included) pay to go to gyms and exercise in an artificial way, while many non-profits had great community improvement projects that were going undone due to a lack of labor. We organize athletic events so that people come together and accomplish these manual labor projects in a fun social way, while getting a great work out.
Our project has two separate groups of beneficiaries. On the one hand community groups will benefit from free volunteer labor and get exposure to people who may not be aware of them. At the same time, the participants get whole body exercise, they gain a deeper involvement in their community, and build new social connections with their fellow GruntMatchers. GruntMatch has three primary benefits:
- GruntMatch increases physical fitness
- increases community involvement
- directly benefits local non-profits and community groups with free labor
What Challenges in the Community are we addressing?
We directly address community involvement and personal fitness, as well as strengthening social connections through our competitive teamwork aspect. Due to the nature of GruntMatch (that we provide volunteer labor to other causes) we also have an impact on a broad range of local issues from increasing trail access to cleaning up lots.
Who will benefit from your idea? How will people access and learn about the work you are doing?
The whole community will benefit from what we’re doing through the physical projects we help accomplish. The people that participate in GruntMatch improve their fitness and their social connections; while the causes we help receive free labor and publicity. Getting the word out about a project like this is inherently difficult. We plan to have different events happening on a weekly basis and we need to reach out to as many individuals as possible. That’s where the league’s $500 could really help us. In order to grow and reach more people we need a website! That’s what we will put the $500 towards in order to reach more people and causes.
What major success would you like to see at the end or apex of your project?
A greater respect for physical labor and greater community involvement. We would love to see GruntMatch turn into a national service that non profits could go to for physical volunteer help on projects as well as a social connector that provided fun regular weekly work outs with chapters across the country.
Project Partners: Portland Trails, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Portland Dept of Public Works, the United Way, and more as we grow.
More on GruntMatch
GruntMatch: a match made in heaven
Printed in the Press Herald Posted by Emma Bouthillette
A battle of the brawn: GruntMatch on the East End
On Mainetoday.com Written by Shannon Bryan