FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — This month, the nonprofit Girls on the Run of Northeast Indiana is raising money to help fund their next year of programs for girls in the area.
For every $500 they raise, the board members will take a leap into a YMCA pool. Girls on the Run teaches girls confidence-building and communication skills through athletics. Money raised will go to provide membership for young girls around the city to participate in the about 9-week programming. Cecilia Daily, who serves as a coach as well as a board member at-large for the organization, said those skills are especially important for young girls to learn now.
“Right now, especially with COVID, it’s just difficult for girls to build those friendships, those connections,” Daily said. “There’s been so many changes in the way that people interact with people with social media and all of the online gaming and so we just feel like it’s really important to help girls learn how to truly communicate and connect with people and build important relationships that sustain into adulthood. That way, they’re actually successful when they grow up.”
The idea to jump into a pool came about on Giving Tuesday. On the Tuesday following Black Friday, people are encouraged to donate to embrace the giving spirit of the holidays and donate to organizations in their area. One of the board members for Girls on the Run decided she would jump into a lake if they raised $500 on Giving Tuesday. They met the goal, the board member took the leap, and the nonprofit decided to stretch the fun out through the end of December.
Pre-pandemic, Girls on the Ran ran programs out of several schools in the area, serving over 650 girls. Once the coronavirus hit, they were forced to get creative in their sites, running smaller groups of girls so that they could still benefit from the program.
“That’s what’s so important about our sponsors, and our donors is that that money goes to helping all of the girls join their teams, and no one gets turned away,” said Daily. “It helps pay for their curriculum, it allows them to participate and get their T-shirts, their water bottles, and overall, just as a good experience.”
You can learn more about what Girls on the Run of Northeast Indiana does and how to donate to their cause on their website.