A letter from Girls on the Run Executive Director, Carrie Johnson:
March 27, 2020
Dear girls, families, and all GOTR friends and stakeholders,
“Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay.” ~Maya Angelou
I hope you and your family and friends are healthy and well. As you know, Girls on the Run is guided by our core values, they set the pace for our vision, they are fundamental to our goals, and they provide clarity of purpose. These are unprecedented times, with no playbook, and it is our core values that have, and will continue to guide us through this uncertainty.
We are especially being guided by our core value to recognize our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making. After careful consideration and in partnership with our Board of Directors, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Girls on the Run programming at all schools and community sites this spring, and cancel the Girls on the Run celebratory 5K on May 30th, as we know it. We are in the midst of considering other 5K options as government mandates are lifted or lowered over the next immediate weeks.
While our program and 5K the way we knew it will be cancelled, we have begun offering GOTR at Home, a new virtual program to our participants and their families. We are hopeful that through this, we can provide a form of routine and connection for our girls, a positive outlet for them and their families, and the ability to nurture their physical and emotional health at home. These connecting activities will continue to be provided to our spring 2020 participants for at least the next three weeks and perhaps beyond. The support from all of our stakeholders is a beacon of light for our organization, allowing us to continue to serve our girls during this critical time. There has never been a time where Girls on the Run has been needed more. For that reason, we have created #GOTRGotYourBack for our broader audience, to shine light on ways we can mindfully activate our individual and collective power for good.
As a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a world where all girls can know and activate their limitless potential, we rely on program fees to support our operations and provide financial assistance to ensure all girls in our community can participate. Prior to COVID-19, we had already received over $127,000 in season registration fees for close to 1,400 girls, and incurred numerous additional costs to get our season up and running by training 430 coaches, creating virtual programming, and continuing day to day operations to enable us to fulfill our mission in the coming months that are impossible to recoup. This COVID-19 outbreak is poised to make a significant impact on our organization’s finances and is forcing us to put emergency plans in place to ensure continued operations. We are offering a tiered refund and donation option to all families who enrolled their girls this season. We are hopeful that all will see the value of this program and will consider making a tax-deductible donation now to help us weather this unprecedented time.
As our spring season comes to an unexpected close, we are shifting our focus towards reframing what a potential 5K could look like later this spring and our summer GOTR Camp for rising 3rd-5th graders. We are also planning for our fall season that will begin in early September and culminate with our GOTR 5K presented by OAL on Nov. 21st at Millersville University. We invite you to keep an eye out for more information on our website and to follow along on our Facebook page and/or Instagram (GOTRLancaster) for more information with season registration information. Fall season registration will open in August.
One of our Girls on the Run core values is to nurture our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. We know this is a stressful and uncertain time for many and encourage you, as a valued member of our GOTR community, to take time to care for yourself. We will support one another and rebuild together.
Thank you so much for your consideration, your support and for helping to make a difference in the lives of girls in our community. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns, or feedback that you may have. We want to hear from you. And, let’s choose to invite hope in….
With gratitude and compassion,
Executive Director, GOTR of Lancaster/Lebanon