For Girls on the Run girls, the program is not just about getting to complete a 5k at the end of the season. There’s no doubt they all love that feeling of accomplishment when they cross the finish line with their arms raised high in the air in front of hundreds of cheering fans, but what inspires them just as much is working together to be their best selves, and knowing they are making a difference in their community. For the girls at PS 295 that meant helping out patients at New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, a facility that has served the area for more than 135 years, and is located within walking distance from their school.
When it came time to choose their Community Impact Project the girls all agreed doing something nice for people who are not feeling well would provide comfort for those facing a challenging situation in a strange place. They were excited to create something that would bring a smile to someone who may be scared, or missing the comforts of home.
As they exchanged ideas, it was evident they wanted to combine all of their interests into one unique gift, and decided they’d assemble goodie bags filled with crafts, hand-written cards, and arts supplies, allowing everyone to contribute in a meaningful way. “The girls were especially excited about making sock plushies,” remarked Coach Deka. The hand-made gifts reflected everyone’s favorite animal and were the centerpiece of the care packages the girls dropped off at the hospital just before the holidays.
Added Coach Deka, “I was really impressed with how the girls helped each other and stayed on task to assemble the gift bags. I could tell they were really proud of what they had accomplished and were humbled when they delivered them.” But it was the hospital that was truly grateful and appreciative of the gesture, remarking what a kind thing the girls had done for their community.
Learning at a young age what it means to give back to those in need is an important lesson Girls on the Run girls can carry with them their entire lives. Knowing their actions can have a positive effect builds not only their self-esteem, but will empower them to tackle bigger challenges as they get older. Thousands of community impact projects happen every Girls on the Run season, making the world a better place one girl at a time.