Girls on the Run, Our Philanthropy Partner
You're going to want to run like a girl when you hear all about Gamma Phi Beta's philanthropic partner, Girls on the Run. With a program geared towards girls between the ages of 8 and 13, Girls on the Run is an organization that is pairing life lessons with running in order to promote female empowerment for a lifetime.
With the philanthropic mission of building strong girls, the partnership between Gamma Phi Beta and Girls on the Run is a perfect pairing. We know that strong girls will grow into women who will desire the highest type of womanhood that Gamma Phi girls are always striving for. Moreover, here at Eta Lambda, we are one of few chapters who are fortunate to have hands-on experience with a Girls on the Run chapter right here in Orlando. Keep reading to learn about all of the ways we've interacted with our philanthropic partner.
Every year, each and every Gamma Phi Beta chapter has hosted a philanthropic sporting event that we call Moonball. The invitation is open for organizations across campus to compete in volleyball, basketball, or kickball as we raise awareness and fundraise money for Girls on the Run.
Fun fact: Moonball was not formally recognized at Gamma Phi Beta Convention until 2016, after extensive research had been conducted.
In 2019, Eta Lambda has the desire to host a second philanthropic event. That's how Crescent Carnival came to be. With attractions like carnival food, games, and Knugget the miniature horse, Eta Lambda was able to surpass its fundraising goal of $10,000 our first time hosting the event. We can't wait to host this event once more when things are safe.
5K Happy Hair Stations
You know, we don't get up at 5 AM for just anyone… we also know that confidence is higher when you're having a good hair day. That's why when Girls on the Run holds their 5K to close out their program, Gamma Phi Beta girls are there to run a Happy Hair Station. At this station, we get to opportunity to interact with these girls while temporarily coloring their hair and applying temporary tattoos to motivate them during the run. The 5K is the last thing these girls do before finishing the program, as a way of reminding them that life isn't a race, everyone finishes at their own pace.
5K Running Buddy or Coach
We've had sisters in the past become more involved with Girls on the Run by investing time and energy. As a volunteer running buddy, sisters run alongside the girls during the 5K and offer words of encouragement. Volunteer coaches are trained with the Girls on the Run curriculum and then assigned to a school to coach twice a week for the span of several weeks leading up to the 5K.
One year, with extra money in the Gamma Phi Beta budget, we went to a local elementary school with Girls on the Run for a surprise. Dressed as fairies, our sisters went and measured these girls for shoe sizes. A few weeks later, we were able to return with brand new Asics shoes for 20 girls. We called ourselves shoe fairies, and they felt like Cinderella ready to run. Nothing compared to the looks of happiness that these girls expressed.
Girls on the Runway Fashion Show
While we don't have a house to invite people to, that doesn't mean we don't have the ability to host small day trips for our girls. In partnership with Chi Upsilion Sigma, Gamma Phi Beta hosted a play date with local Girls on the Run in the Nicholson School of Communication. In addition to music and games, all of the girls designed wands and tutus before showing off their one-of-a-kind outfits on our runway.
Whether it be as a running coach or a shoe fairy, Eta Lambda is proud to have so many opportunities for hands-on experience with Gamma Phi Beta's philanthropic partner, Girls on the Run. The benefit comes from being fortunate enough to have a Girls on the Run chapter right here in Orlando, making us proud to build strong girls in our own community.