So as some of you may remember, I posted a few stories on my Instagram, shopping for a coach in the Girls on the Run organization a couple of weeks ago in Philly and now I want to tell you all about it!
Did you know that starting at the age of nine, girls’ confidence begins to drop and by the time they reach the age of 10, their physical activity levels also begin to decline and continue to decrease throughout adolescence?!
I myself have a little sister who just turned 10 years old, so this is a little disheartening to hear! Especially since she’s VERY much active in sports and always has been and I honestly couldn’t imagine her any other way! She really does it all! From traveling basketball and soccer, to swimming and more, she’s ALWAYS been the star athlete in the family (not counting DeAndre of course! haha!)… ☝🏽But she did play flag football one year and she plays a mean game of HORSE, so I definitely think she gives him a run for his money!! 😂🙌🏽😏
But I say all this to say, I truly couldn’t imagine my little sisters’ physical activity levels and confidence beginning to decline.. Sports is so much of who she is and that’s why when Always reached out to me regarding getting involved with Girls on the Run, I was INSTANTLY HONORED to be a part of it!
Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization that provides a physical activity-based positive youth development program to girls in third to eighth grades – in which 97% of participants learned critical life skills as part of the 10-week curriculum.
They envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams!
As a brand that has been dedicated to building girls’ confidence for over 30 years, Always understands the value of Girls on the Run. So in the spirit of continuing to support girls, Always partnered with Target for a second year in a row, and together they have contributed $1.8 million to Girls on the Run in an effort to help stop the drop in confidence girls experience at puberty. This year’s donation not only goes towards helping more girls participate in Girls on the Run, but will also go towards investing in the coaches that guide the girls to success!!
Because behind every determined Girls on the Run girl, there’s a devoted, hardworking coach helping them gain the confidence they need to keep doing the activities they love and stay confident #LikeAGirl!
So I headed to my local Target to pick out a BUNCH of different items for Coach Dawn and I had a blast! I chose everything from beauty products, to Always products, to activewear, to fitness items and more!! I was seriously SO excited to get home and put it all together for her! ☺️
In addition to the gift basket for Coach Dawn, Always and Target provided her with a $5,000 gift card to be spent on her amazing girls to get them new socks, sneakers and other gear to keep them going.
Fast forward a couple days to when I actually got to meet all the girls and Coach Dawn..
It happened to be raining that day, so unfortunately the girls couldn’t run outside, but I walked into a warm room with all of these beautiful little smiling faces peering up at me!
I said hello and gave Coach Dawn her basket! To say she was SHOCKED is an understatement and it felt so good to just give back to someone who makes such a positive impact in the Philadelphia area!
Shortly after, we jumped right into warming up and it was SOOO fun dancing with the girls! They kept looking back at me to see if I was dancing… and BEST BELIEVE I WAS!! haha! They are just TOO precious!!!
After warming up, we went out to the hallway and they started running their laps. Up three flights of stairs, across the hall, down three flights, across the hall and back around again!
The crazy thing was, they were only required to run 12 laps…
Some girls ran 17, 18, 19 and 20 laps!!! They all just kept asking if they could go again! Have you ever heard that before!?? I remember when I was little, the other kids would try to quit early! .. But not these girls!
They TRULY loved to run! It was so special to observe!
But the most inspiring thing to witness was when the girls would encourage each other to keep going!!!
They kept pumping each other up and saying “good job!” “you can do it!”.. These girls were 3rd-5th graders, lifting up one another! I really have no words!!
But that’s the thing about Girls on the Run! Coach Dawn said “It’s a safe, fun place for girls”. “Where there’s no bullying and it’s not about competing with one another, but about competing with yourself!”
And that’s exactly what I saw during my visit!
Each time they would run a lap, Coach Dawn would give them a bracelet and you can see below how many these girls had by the end!
Another huge part of Girls on the Run though is practicing healthy eating habits. So after they all finished running, they had healthy snacks waiting for them in the room. I thought this was GREAT! Practicing healthy eating habits is so important at a young age and sometimes not everyone has that positive influence at home.
The next thing on the agenda had to be one of my favorites though. Their identity cards. These are where they can write positive things they think about themselves and it helps on continuing to build their confidence. You can see what one of their cards said below… If this doesn’t melt your heart, I don’t know what will!
And the last thing of the day was the energy awards! This is where the girls gave each other compliments for their actions or attitudes during their time together.
One girl gave an energy award to the other for encouraging everyone while they ran. Another gave an energy award for running more than last class. The list went on!
Coach Dawn has been a part of Girls on the Run for 3 years now and she has truly created a safe, loving, encouraging environment for these girls and I’m just so grateful I was able witness it!
I will definitely be continuing to help this amazing organization in every way possible moving forward, but if you want to get involved and help Girls on the Run too, there are a few ways you can do so and I’ve linked them here!
They have volunteering opportunities such as becoming a coach or a running buddy for the girls, or you can become a SoleMate while you work on your own fitness goals and the list goes on! But in addition to giving your time, another way to get involved is by giving a donation. According to Coach Dawn, many of these girls are on scholarship and without the monetary donations Girls on the Run receive, a lot of these sweet girls wouldn’t be able to participate.
So if you are able, anything helps!!!
And as always, thanks for reading and following along on this journey with me! 😊❤️
This post is sponsored by Always and Target.