Reader view: The season may be lost, but you can still help Girls on the Run

Megan Wolfe, right, with Marlen. (File photo courtesy Megan Wolfe)

The following was written by Megan Wolfe, executive director of Snohomish County Girls on the Run, a 10-week empowerment and fitness program for girls in third through sixth grades. It was canceled this spring due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

I’ve been trying to process my grief over our canceled season for the past week and a half. It’s partly all the hard work we did over the past nine months to get ready for it. It’s partly because I wish things were normal right now. But what really makes me sad is the lost connections and lost moments with the girls and the coaches. We got to do all our coach trainings and boy do those give me energy and fill me up with good feelings!

Right now I’m heartbroken for girls like Alyson who is in 6th grade and this was her last chance to be on the GOTR team with her mom as a coach. Girls like Marlen, who although she has aged out of the program this year, gained so much in previous years by being a part of it — what other “Marlen’s” aren’t getting this program right now? I’m heartbroken for the missed connections between coaches and girls — those moments that shape who these girls will become and show them how much their volunteer coaches care about them. I’m heartbroken for all the girls who won’t get to finish their first 5k this spring, the looks of pride and joy on their faces and on their parents’/supporters’ faces. Those breathless “I can’t believe I did that” words that we won’t hear.

We are connecting with our community in new ways but I’m holding on to the image of a happy, sunny 5k day in our future when girls get to shine bright! We do this work because we know the impact it has on the girls we serve. And because of the impact those girls have on each of us.

The world is upside down right now, and when it is less upside down again I know the lessons we teach our girls will be more important than ever — connection, confidence, resilience, friendship. These are all things we all need right now.

If you are able to donate, I encourage any donation that ends in a 5 since our 5th birthday is right around the corner! Donate at our website.

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