Strong girls become strong women. Donate to Dream Big! and empower young girls through sports. Give a girl the chance to change the world.
*I don't believe anyone goes out and runs a marathon (or takes on any grueling physical challenge, for that matter) just for the sake of it. We challenge ourselves so we can celebrate milestones, mourn losses, erase self doubt, find courage and confidence where we thought there was none. On April 15th I am proud to say that I am accomplishing my biggest dream and tackling my biggest challenge by running the Boston Marathon for Dream Big!, a Massachusetts based non-profit whose mission is to provide low-income and homeless girls the basic items necessary to participate in sports and physical activities. Through equipment grants to schools and city programs, collection and dispersion of sporting goods, and payment of program fees, Dream Big ensures that regardless of socio-economic background, all girls are given the opportunity to play a sport or participate in an activity that contribute to their overall health and well-being. Girls who participate in sports are more likely to stay in school, assume leadership positions, develop healthy lifestyle habits, and have healthy relationships. Particularly for young, at-risk girls, the empowerment and confidence gained through sports is critical and life changing.
I started my marathon journey only a few months back with 0 running miles under my belt. On April 15th my teammates and I will go and run 26.2. Along the way, people kept telling me, "If you can run 13/15/18 you can run a marathon." No. On any given Saturday I'd go out and run the designated mileage and hope to God that next week I'd be able to run one mile farther. Some Saturdays were tougher than others. I will never be the fastest or the most graceful runner (today I stepped on road kill as other runners artfully dodged it and later ran into a tiny snowbank) but I do know I am doing something that I NEVER thought I'd be able to do. I have my own reasons for running. I stomp on demons with every step and celebrate every step that I'm stomping.
Since I began my journey (and it is nothing less than that) I kept saying, "I'm not a runner. I'm not a runner. I'm not a runner. Yes, I just happen to be running the Boston Marathon but I'm REALLY not a runner." This whole time I kept wondering what mileage it was going to take to get me to finally say, "Hell yeah, I'm a runner!!!" It wasn't so much the mileage that did it today and it wasn't so much of a "Hell Yeah!" rather than a small little squeak, but seeing the pride, relief, satisfaction, and sheer joy of everyone I run with every week at accomplishing this last big feat of 21 miles and being right in the middle of it all makes me think that I might, just might, be a runner...and for that I am incredibly grateful.
I know how much this journey has empowered me and I want all girls to have the same opportunity to find what empowers them. My goal is to raise $10,000 for Dream Big! The money raised is 100% able to elevate this small organization’s reach to a COMPLETELY new level, allowing countless girls access to play, dance and move. As a swim coach/instructor for many years I’ve seen firsthand what a calculated difference sports make in a child’s life. The self-reliance, sense of accomplishment and pride is unparalleled. For most who will read this, the opportunity to participate in any physical activity/sport of your choosing has been yours from an early age. You may still participate in your chosen sport, coach, or simply be an enthusiastic supporter. Regardless, you know the profound impact sports and physical activity can have on a life, be it yours or a loved one’s. Please help me reach my goal. You have the power to change a girl’s life. Thank you.