I’ve been trying to get a bit more active lately, and not just in a physical way. I’ve also been looking into volunteer opportunities through NYCares and VolunteerMatch, two great resources for anyone looking to give a bit of their time (NYCares is obviously regional but VolunteerMatch is all over the country as far as I know).
Recently, while looking through posts on VolunteerMatch, I came across one advertising a need for race volunteers for a Girls on the Run event. I emailed the race director about it and was immediately contacted about being a race marshal. Girls on the Run is an amazing organization that describes itself as
a life-changing, experiential learning programs for girls age eight to thirteen years old. The programs combine training for a 3.1 mile running event with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts. The goals of the programs are to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development.
There’s really nothing negative you can say about that. This is a program that focuses on having girls do something positive with their bodies, helping to build self-esteem and self-confidence and reduce the risk for eating disorders and other effects of negative body-image.
Although it was freezing cold this morning, working as a race marshal was a lot of fun, and I met some great people, including a fellow blogger and new friend! She and I held the banner marking the turn-around point in the 5k race that the girls were running, and we got to cheer for them as they ran and walked by. A lot of them touched the banner, as physical proof that they had been there. Some of them were so tiny! It was great to see so many girls doing something so positive for themselves. I wonder if they’re aware of how important this program is, and I hope they’ll continue to run and be involved with it as they grow up.
As for me, I’m excited to get more involved with the Manhattan chapter of Girls on the Run. They have a lot of opportunities and I’m really hoping to work more with them for the spring season!