"Medals4Mettle (M4M) is a non-profit organization founded in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2005. Its mission is to celebrate and reward the individual and collective courage of all human beings by facilitating the gifting of marathon finisher’s medals from marathoners to people who have demonstrated similar mettle, or courage. The recipients can be any age and might have exhibited such mettle by dealing with disease, handicaps or any similar challenge. Marathon runners around the world, and others who have won medals, give their medals to Medals4Mettle. Then our nationwide network of physicians and others award these medals to those who might not be able to run a marathon, but are in their own marathon to continue to live their life. As marathoners run through the streets, large crowds cheer the runners for their effort. Medals4Mettle lets these runners, healthy enough to compete in such an event, to return the cheers to those who have supported them."
A common topic amongst runners (in addition to running goals, personal records, injuries, and training schedules) is "what do you do with your finisher's medals?" Some people have suggested making wind chimes or Christmas ornaments. Some people frame the medals that have significant meaning to them, such as their first medal, the medal from the race where they blew past their last PR, their Boston Marathon medal, etc. After running in several long distance events, a person does end up with quite the collection of medals. I also have my medal collection, and I have plans to participate in more half marathons and marathons, but at some point it may be too cumbersome to hang on to all of those medals. I really don't have THAT many (10). They all hang on a hook along side a mirror in my bedroom. I do like the way they clink and clang against each other when they are moved, which serves as a reminder that I actually did all of those runs. Perhaps it is the sentimental part of me that doesn't want to part with my finisher's medals just yet, but when I do, Medals 4 Mettle will definitely be the recipient. They will take off the original ribbon and put their own Medals4 Mettle ribbons on before handing them out to people who are in "their own marathon to life life."
By the way, they also take event T-shirts.