SoleMate Spotlight: Jen Klein

Today, we feature Jen, the GOTR NYC Board President, who will be running in the 2013 NYC Marathon as a Girls on the Run NYC SoleMate!

Jen (right) with Girls on the Run NYC Coach, Sonali.

Jen (right) with Girls on the Run NYC Coach, Sonali.

Why did you choose to support Girls on the Run NYC through your training/racing?
I’ve been involved with Girls on the Run for about three years now, and during that time I’ve seen firsthand the powerful effect it can have on a young girl.  In GOTR practices, I’ve watched the girls build new friendships, grow their confidence, and learn to listen to their own voices.  At the end of each season at the 5K event, I’ve witnessed huge smiles and cheers from the girls and their families as they cross the finish line, bursting with pride and a sense of accomplishment. Participation in GOTR is a defining moment for a girl, when she learns that she can rise to any challenge and turn the seemingly impossible into the possible. Quite simply, I chose to support Girls on the Run NYC through my marathon training because I want as many girls as possible to have that experience.

What is your favorite part of marathon training?
The days off!  Just kidding.  My favorite part of marathon training is actually a lot like my favorite part of the Girls on the Run program—I get an enormous sense of accomplishment after I complete a run that seemed incredibly daunting as I was heading out the door.  And like the girls in our program, I am training bit by bit, mile by mile, and I’m surrounded by people who support and inspire me. 

What’s your #1 fundraising tip?
Stay engaged.  I started my fundraising with an email blast and a Facebook post that spoke about why I was choosing to run the marathon for Girls on the Run NYC (see above J).  As donations came in, I immediately thanked those people by email and by tagging them in a thank-you Facebook post.  That kept my fundraising on people’s minds, so someone that might have seen my initial post and then got distracted by something else was reminded about it when they saw my subsequent thank you posts.  I also would highlight each time I got to a fundraising milestone and equate those funds to how many girls they will provide scholarships for.  People really responded to seeing those numbers and knowing the effect their dollars would have. 

What activities have you done to fundraise for GOTR NYC?
I’ve been really successful with the email and social media blasts—my friends and family have been AWESOME and just unbelievably supportive.  Another great strategy I haven’t used yet, but that I know other SoleMates have had success with, is hosting a happy hour or brunch where their friends come and make donations to their fundraising.  And don’t forget that many employers match gifts!

What does being part of Girls on the Run NYC SoleMates mean to you?
I am so fortunate to have so many people behind me as I take on this challenge.  As soon as I told my friends and family I decided to do the marathon, I was flooded with messages of “That’s so awesome!” and “I’m so proud of you!”  And when I became a SoleMate, I really felt like I was part of a community– we share tips, check in on training, and have access to great special classes and info sessions.  As I am working to meet the challenge of a marathon, I have this amazing team with me every step of the way.  It is incredibly powerful to me to know that I am raising money so that girls across New York City can have a team, a community, and a supportive environment in which to rise to their challenges and do more than they ever thought was possible.

Check out Jen’s fundraising page here 

If you are interested in becoming a SoleMate, go to gotrnyc.org/solemates-program for more information and registration.