Yes, I am dragging her across the finish line....
September 28, 2016
BENEFITING: Girls on the Run - Chicago
ORGANIZER: Girls on the Run - Chicago
EVENT: GOTR Chicago Marathon 2016
EVENT DATE: Oct 09, 2016
I am going to ask you for money, but it is okay, because it is going to help change the world. It is fine. You want to change the world. And you can one girl at a time.
You may have noticed I have been running a lot this summer. I mean why would you run 20 miles on a Sunday unless you were training for something? Well…. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is just 10 days away. I wanted to run again to show my daughter what is possible, the last time I ran she was 8 and I am not sure she remembers. I also wanted to remind myself of what I could do if I actually put my mind to it and did the work.
I also wanted to run to make a difference in the lives of the girls here in Chicago.
At Girls on the Run Chicago, we raise money to support over 85% of our girls – including the girls at Ella’s school. My goal this Marathon season is to fund Heart & Sole, our middle school program, for 15 girls – and I hope you will join me in making that possible. GOTRC has a commitment to serve all girls and we raise money to make that possible.
$157 is our out of pocket cost per girl served, join me in supporting one girl’s experience – or – donate part of a scholarship – any amount helps. Together, let’s make it happen.
So, why Heart & Sole?
It is hard being 12. It is hard to get up and go to school and to deal with all the things that go along with growing up, like pre-algebra, riding the bus, navigating friendships and interests in romantic relationships, and also finding a sense of individuality and self apart from your family and the group.
As I recall, being in middle school was all kinds of awful, mostly for my dear, long suffering parents.
This year, we are watching middle school awfulness and awkwardness unfold for Ella. She has more solid footing than I had, and she also has a set of friends who all seem more confident and comfortable with being who they are apart from who they think each other should be. That struggle is still there, though, as they test out preferences, values, beliefs that are different from the herd. Sometimes that struggle manifests as not wanting to go to school, or getting angry over something seemingly unimportant, or crying, fretting, and even challenging.
As parents, we struggle with how to help. We want her to feel okay with who she is and who she will become. We want her to feel like differences matter. Who she is matters. Who her friends are and what they are about matters. We don’t have to be the same, but we can be in some things.
At Girls on the Run we offer a program for our Middle School girls that I know, if it had been available for me in the 6th Grade, it would have made all the difference as I went into 7th and 8th Grade. I may have had the courage to set myself apart from bad choices friends were making earlier. I may have been better able to articulate how I was feeling and what I was going through. We – our class of girls – may have grown into a support system for each other rather than cutting each other down. There were, of course, notable exceptions to mean girl behavior – I was not one of them.
Heart & Sole focuses on the specific needs of girls in 6-8th Grade and arms them with the tools they need to grow through this critical part of their development. We help build their whole being through work on the Girl Wheel, which builds their Heart, Brain, Body, Spirit, and Social skill sets.
Think about what it would have meant to you to have access to a program that helped you feel at ease with yourself and your peers as you entered High School. Think about what a gift self-acceptance, gratitude, self-care, positive decision making, and valuing the diversity of interests and experiences of others would be for you today – let alone when you were entering those critical middle school years.
Help me fund a program, and starting this Spring, I promise to give you an update on how things are going, and the lives you helped change.
Thank you so much,