GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As runners take to the streets today in the 45th annual Amway River Bank Run, many are running with purpose.

In celebration of its 45th year, the Amway River Bank Run has partnered with five charities around West Michigan to help raise funds and spread awareness about each organization.

For many of the runners, running for a charity partner helps give them drive and puts passion behind the race.

This year, the Charity Partners include i understand, Humane Society of West Michigan, West Michigan Trials and Greenways, Hand2Hand, and ALS Association. These organizations are working to serve our community in various ways and the Amway River Bank Run is running along side them to help create a bigger footprint.

i understand is an organization with a mission of providing compassion to those affected by mental illness and suicide. Through opening up the conversation and offering a shoulder to lean on, it is providing support and resources to families in need.

Humane Society of West Michigan is all about helping animals find their forever homes with loving families throughout the community. Not only does it care for these animals and find them homes, it helps to promote and advocate for humane treatment and responsible care of animals by educating the community.

West Michigan Trials and Greenways is dedicated to building a world-class trail experience and connecting communities through trails around West Michigan. With trails throughout the city and to the lakeshore, it is helping to create experiences for families to connect with nature and explorer further.

Hand2Hand is feeding the community one meal at a time with their efforts in providing free and accessible food to children who need it most. Over extended school breaks and on weekends, many kids are faced with no meals. Hand2Hand works to combat that by bringing food to families to provide nutrition and hope.

ALS Association of West Michigan is continually educating the community about this neurodegenerative disease and raising funds for treatments and research. Through its mission, it is advocating and empowering those affected by ALS to live full lives.

Each organization has partnered with the Amway River Bank Run and the Road Warrior team to bring awareness and raise funds for their unique cause.

Since the beginning of the Charity Partner Program, Amway River Bank Run has raised over $2.3 million for West Michigan nonprofit organizations.