Back in September 2010, my friend Jen asked me if I would like to co-coach a Girls on the Run troop.  I said, “Sure!” because the program combined my two favorite things:  running and building self-esteem.



Girls on the Run is a 12-week program for third – fifth graders.  Over the course of 24 lessons, the girls learn important life lessons and skills, like how to stand up to bullies and how to choose healthy foods, while they train to run a 5K.  The lessons help uncover their extraordinary potential and celebrate their awesome uniqueness.  At the end of the season, the girls run a community race with hundreds or thousands of other Girls on the Run girls, parents, and volunteers.


When Jen asked me to coach, I thought the program sounded fun.  But I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into!   On the first day, I stared down at the expectant faces of 15 eight – ten year old girls and realized that I had never actually babysat or had any serious one-on-one interaction with kid under the age of fifteen.  I realized that Jen and I were totally outnumbered.  And suddenly, I got very, very nervous.


But you know what?  It worked out!  GOTR quickly became my favorite part of the week.  I liked coaching so much that I signed up to be a head coach the next season, and the Husband joined me as the co-coach. 


GOTR taught me how to talk to kids (they are people – not aliens!), and in exchange, the girls taught me so much. 


I learned how to motivate the girls to run.  I learned to bring napkins when I bake cupcakes.  I learned to always carry Band-Aids.  I learned that crepe paper makes perfect finish line tape.  I learned that everyone likes to see pictures of themselves tearin’ it up around a track.  I learned that rain never hurt anyone, but it does make little kids cry hysterically.   And I learned that if you listen, kids will tell you some important stuff. 


Above all else, I learned that if you are passionate about a cause, it doesn’t feel like work.


The latest season of GOTR is beginning in just a few weeks, and the Husband and I will be returning to coach a new group of girls.  My friend Kim is joining the team as another co-coach.



Not going to lie – sometimes, on the way to GOTR, I dread teaching the next lesson.  After all, coaching GOTR is a big volunteering commitment when you work a full-time job – five hours a week for three straight months.  But once I arrive, I always feel so excited and energized.  I leave feeling proud, uplifted, and accomplished.  What we give to the girls is so important, but what the girls give to the coaches – well, I struggle to put the girls’ powerfully positive impact on me into words.


Volunteering can change your life.  This is not a platitude.  This is the truth.  GOTR is good for my body, mind, and spirit.  Coaching GOTR really transformed the way I see myself, my Husband, and children.   


If you are stressed out about life or work a job that leaves you feeling drained and unhappy, try volunteering.  You can even train for a race to raise money for GOTR – perfect for busy folk! 


GOTR stamps out my negative thoughts and encourages me to become a better role model.  


The most wonderful thing about GOTR is that the program teaches the girls and the coaches that there is something special about everyone.  We are all unique and amazing and talented and FUN. 


Our new season starts in the middle of September.  And I CANNOT WAIT!  I need the GOTR positivity in my life as soon as possible!







Are you a GOTR coach or volunteer?  What kind of volunteering do you do?  How has it transformed your life?



  • Baking N Books August 31, 2011, 3:11 pm

    I just want to say thank you – that you are an inspiration. As busy as you are – writing a book!, at the clinic, training, etc. – you still make time to write up meaningful posts.

  • Chloe (In Fine Feather) August 31, 2011, 3:17 pm

    I’ve loved reading about your GOTR experience. It has definitely given me ideas for volunteer work & reminds me why I loved volunteering at a homeless outreach center in college. It’s also wonderful that you and the Hus got to coach together 🙂

  • Laura @ My Reason to Tri August 31, 2011, 3:18 pm

    how awesome! i wonder if the gaston co GOTR needs any coaches? my husband and i are coaching 3-4 year old soccer at the Y. that is pretty stressful! tough age group and the parents expect a lot out of us even though we are just volunteering. but i think we will enjoy it 🙂

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 3:19 pm

      Are any of these schools near you? We need a few more coaches.

      • Laura @ My Reason to Tri August 31, 2011, 3:58 pm

        no, i live way out in dallas…theres nothing near me lol! i think the gaston co season has already started. do they do another session in the spring?

        • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 4:07 pm

          Oh I thought you said GASTONIA which is near me 🙂 You could be a Solemate or a running buddy for the 5k if the season has already started! you can also coach in the spring!

        • Laura B @ My Reason to Tri August 31, 2011, 4:11 pm

          I’m just north of Gastonia, just far enough away to be a pain to get to things. I will look into the solemates thing! Thanks!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 31, 2011, 3:20 pm

    Awww Caitlin this gives me shivers!! I love the work you do with GOTR and am so inspired by this. I can only imagine that the girls absolutely adore you, and that you must be one of their biggest role models. You DO have a good heart, Caitlin! 🙂

  • Katie August 31, 2011, 3:23 pm

    I just sent in an application for GOTR NYC the other day! Not sure what to expect…but your post definitely got me jazzed about it alL! Fingers crossed!

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 9:48 pm

      I hope you enjoy coaching!

  • Katie @ cooklaughmove August 31, 2011, 3:28 pm

    I coached Girls on Track and holy wow did it change me! Our season ended in May and the team picture is still the background on my laptop.

    We start in March and a couple times we ran in the snow 🙂

  • Kelley @ Get Between the Bookends August 31, 2011, 3:28 pm

    That’s great that you do this. It’s a wonderful cause.

    I volunteer for a number of things through work, including runs/walks etc. But the thing that I do on my own is that I’m a Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. I love it. My Lil’ Sis is eight and she’s just the best. We meet once a week. We’ve only been matched for three months and I already see such great improvments.

    We’re actually heading out to play some kick ball tonight with some other Lil’s and Bigs!

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 9:49 pm

      BBBS is such a great program!

  • Kerry August 31, 2011, 3:28 pm

    I enjoyed reading about your GOTR experiences and can’t wait for the next set. I volunteered this summer for Cooking Matters, a program which offers nutrition based cooking classes to low income families, and it was a fantastic opportunity! I learned as much, if not more, from the women in the program as they learned from me.

  • Sarah @ w30 August 31, 2011, 3:30 pm

    So beautiful – just teared up.

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg August 31, 2011, 3:30 pm

    Caitlin I’m glad you and your hubby will be coaching again this year — what a great organization and it is wonderful that they find caring coaches like you to lead those kids!

  • Kelly August 31, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I think it’s just fantastic you and your husband do this together. What an experience – for you, for him, for the girls. Positive role models from both sexes = a big win.

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 9:49 pm

      We agree!

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy August 31, 2011, 3:35 pm

    I have always volunteered. I was in Girl Scouts as a child, I did a lot of volunteering with my church youth group and now I volunteer with an employee team at work, feed the homeless three times or so a year with a co-worker and volunteer at my current church. It is by far one of my favorite things to do. You learn so much from others by volunteering! And helping is free!

  • Crystal August 31, 2011, 3:39 pm

    You’re posts about GOTR inspired me to sign up to coach this season in Raleigh! I am excited/nervous, but I think this will be a great experience for me 🙂 Good luck this season!

    • Crystal August 31, 2011, 3:40 pm

      *Your…ugh 🙂

  • Elizabeth August 31, 2011, 3:46 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    Just making sure you’ve seen this awesome youtube video about the most adorable positive female, ever.

  • Shaya (Eye Girl Eats) August 31, 2011, 3:52 pm

    I love this 🙂 When my schedule becomes regular post-school, I am FOR SURE going to start or join GOTR in my area.

    My volunteering at Boys and Girls clubs on Native American reservations taught me to be grateful for the things and people in my life, taught me humility, and opened my eyes to the different ways of life in places so close to where I am, but so different in circumstance.

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) August 31, 2011, 3:52 pm

    GOTR has changed me so much! Seriously! I actually wrote an entire post a week or two ago similar to this post sharing my experiences with GOTR and urging my readers to become a coach or running buddy!

    But seriously, the 8 girls I coached last season changed me for the better. They made me realize that I need to be a good role model, whether I am around them or not. I need to learn to love and respect myself before I can teach them to do the same. I need to practice what I preach (or teach ;)) and I am working on it.

    I can’t wait until the fall season starts in a few weeks!!! 😀

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 9:54 pm

      Aw so glad you had a positive GOTR experience.

  • Mia August 31, 2011, 3:59 pm

    Volunteering does change your life. I did 2 years of AmeriCorps after college, working at a homeless shelter, and I still think of those two years as some of the greatest times in my life.
    I feel guilty for not devoting more time to volunteering these days, but my schedule is so unpredictable and I am so exhausted all the time I just don’t think my heart would be into it 🙁

  • Heather @ Better With Veggies August 31, 2011, 4:07 pm

    I wish I could coach for GOTR, it’s an awesome organization and I’m glad to see so many people involved. I can’t get out of work early enough to coach in my area and they must not be in need of other volunteers in our area. I agree that volunteering can change your life – I used to be a Girl Scout Leader and I miss that sometimes (although it was a LOT of work). Congrats on being a coach and awesome that your husband will be joining you now too!

  • Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats August 31, 2011, 4:09 pm

    This is so amazing! 🙂 Once I am finished with nursing school I would really like to be a part of this program wherever I end up living! I think it would be such a great opportunity!

  • Tiffany August 31, 2011, 4:09 pm

    I volunteer 3-7 hours a week at my local animal shelter/vet clinic, and I love it so much! It is immensely rewarding to see a homeless pet find a family!

  • Erin @ The Grass Skirt August 31, 2011, 4:14 pm

    We just signed my stepdaughter up for GOTR in Union County. She is SO excited, and I am really excited to watch her go through the whole process. I’m not a runner, but maybe they can use my services for something. I can be the water girl! 🙂

  • Katie August 31, 2011, 4:14 pm

    GOTR is SUCH an amazing program! I volunteered at one of their 5ks in May, and I’m currently raising money for them with my half marathon training. I just wrote a post about it the other day in fact –

    Something like GOTR could have made SUCH a huge difference in my life at that age. I’m so glad it’s around for girls now.

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 9:55 pm

      Great post!

  • Sweet and Savvy August 31, 2011, 4:16 pm

    This is such a good post! I love that you have had such a wonderful experience! Volunteering is so wonderful.. I love volunteering at my local hospital and union mission soup opera.

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats August 31, 2011, 4:21 pm

    I’ve heard about GOTR and should look into it! I was a camp counselor and love working with young girls on self-esteem! this sounds like an amazing program!

  • courtney August 31, 2011, 4:24 pm

    you are such an inspiration – i’m starting my first season as asst coach for gotr this fall! can’t wait!

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 9:55 pm

      Yay so happy you are coaching!

  • Kristin August 31, 2011, 4:30 pm

    Am going to be an Assistant Coach for the first time this season! Super excited about it and can’t wait to start 🙂

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 9:56 pm

      I hope you enjoy coaching! Best thing ever.

  • Lizz (leadingthegoodlife) August 31, 2011, 4:32 pm

    I volunteer to fill backpacks with food for the weekend for elementary school students that may not have enough to eat. Sometimes the children are around because the building also houses an after school program and summer camp. I love kids! And I love helping them have one less thing to worry about.

  • Krysty August 31, 2011, 4:36 pm

    I love GOTR! I was just offered a position on the special events committee for a brand NEW chapter here in MN!! I am very excited about this program, and can’t wait to get going!

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 9:57 pm

      Yay so fun you are going to be on the special events committee. Good times!

  • Sophie @ threetimesf August 31, 2011, 4:40 pm

    Every time I read one of your posts on GOTR I think how much of a great project it is – my new job doesn’t really allow me much free time but I must look in to whether there is something similar in the UK.
    So please you have decided to co-coach again this year so we can continue reading about it 🙂 Have fun!

  • Marian @ marianwrites August 31, 2011, 4:51 pm

    true story: that video made me cry. i think GOTR is such a beautiful cause. I was never very athletic growing up, and I really struggled with self-esteem as a teen. I know that something like this could have really benefited me a and a lot of girls I knew!! Do you know when the CLT 5K is this year? I want to sign up as a running buddy!! PS thanks for the peptalk yesterday!

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 9:58 pm

      Dec 3! Mark your calendar!!

  • Emily August 31, 2011, 5:02 pm

    you’re such an inspiration, not only to your GOTR troop, but to your readers also! i’m running my first 5k this weekend (in Pittsburgh, actually!) and definitely have the inspiration you put into this blog to thank for a lot of my motivation to start running more seriously and actually sign up for a race. 🙂

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 9:58 pm

      Yay Pittsburgh 🙂 Good luck at your 5K!

  • Hannah August 31, 2011, 5:24 pm

    This is beautiful, Caitlin! I love that you have shared your experiences with GOTR with us. The volunteering I have done is for a food pantry-it makes me so lucky to be able to afford organic food, when these people don’t have that option. They are all so friendly, and I always learn something every time I volunteer.

  • J August 31, 2011, 5:24 pm

    I am SOOOO excited to be a Head Coach in my first season with GOTR of Franklin County (Ohio). I am in the recreation industry, and have a lot of experience in facilitating these types of programs, and I’ so excited to share in this experience! Our group of girls is from an after school club in a rougher neighborhood, and I’m both anxious and bouncing off the walls pumped to get in there and help! Eeeee!!

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 10:03 pm

      You are going to do GREAT!

  • Lauren @ Team Giles August 31, 2011, 5:45 pm

    I love when you post about GOTR. These stories are fantastic. I think this is a brilliant program for girls.

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 31, 2011, 5:49 pm

    Such a beautiful post!! I really wish GOTR would come near here. I see younger girls running here all the time but it seems to be for junior high track. Maybe one day they’ll come! I’d love to get involved with them.

  • Emily August 31, 2011, 5:50 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post.
    I would LOVE to get involved with GOTR but the closest one to me is in Boston (60 miles or so away).
    Last year I started volunteering with the local domestic abuse/sexual assault org. and when they asked me to co-facilitate a group for teen girls I almost died. I was so intimated going into it but they were the sweetest girls and I’m really proud of the environment we created together. In fact, I gave them each a copy of the Operation Beautiful book as part of our week on self-esteem and role models. I’m excited to expand on that with the new group this year.

    Thanks for sharing the value of volunteering, especially with kids. It’s so rewarding.

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 10:04 pm

      Aw thank you so much Emily! I really appreciate it.

  • Hillary August 31, 2011, 5:59 pm

    “And I learned that if you listen, kids will tell you some important stuff.”

    This is maybe the most important thing I’ve learned as a teacher. Very well said, Caitlin.

  • Jules August 31, 2011, 6:08 pm

    I’m a GOTR coach and Team Adelaide member… thanks to you! I heard about the program from you, and have been a part of the organization for a year now. Thanks for spreading the word! 🙂

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 10:04 pm

      Yay thank you for volunteering with GOTR, Jules!

  • Tracy @ Tracy's Treats August 31, 2011, 6:17 pm

    It’s a great thing what you’re doing. I’ve thought about being a coach for Girls on the Run after a friend did it. It’s such a wonderful organization!

  • Molly @ RDexposed August 31, 2011, 6:22 pm

    You provided kindness, running inspriration, and a boy with an accent. What more does a 10 year old girl want from life?

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga August 31, 2011, 6:34 pm

    volunteering is such a transforming experience and what you have done is soooooo amazing! with GOTR as well as Op Beautiful..the messages ARE having a rippling effect on the next generation…I am sure 🙂

  • Kathryn August 31, 2011, 7:21 pm

    I just went to coaches training this weekend and am SO excited to start in a few weeks! This will be my first year as an assistant coach and I owe it all to you- I had never heard about the program before reading your blog, and you made it look so fun and rewarding that I just had to get involved

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 10:05 pm

      Yay I am so glad HTP introduced you to GOTR 🙂 Have fun!

  • michelle August 31, 2011, 7:24 pm

    I used to coach but our director (through the local YMCA) dropped the ball last year and we had to take a semester off. Then she never told us that they weren’t running the program again!! My friend (and fellow coach) and I were so upset when we found out via TEXT! If we’d had known they weren’t going to continue sponsoring the program we would have sought another way to keep the program here in South Florida. The running community is HUGE here- there is NO WAY that we shouldn’t have a huge district. I’ve got “contact the GOTR council to ask for advice” on my to-do list. I’m so bummed.

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 10:07 pm

      Ugh! I hope you guys can rally it back!

  • Amanda August 31, 2011, 7:26 pm

    Hi Caitlin! I recently volunteered at the Fall Kick off event for GOTR Sacramento. I was looking through a photo album of all of the national organizations and came across the one of you with the girls jumping in the air. Even though I don’t personally know you, I saw it and said, “I know her! That’s Caitlin!” This instantly made me very aware of the nerdy blogger in me, but also very proud and happy, as well. I’m not afraid to fly my nerd flag, especially when it’s over a shared passion! Happy coaching this season!

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 10:08 pm

      Aw how fun 🙂 It was cool that the pic made it into the program.

  • michelle August 31, 2011, 7:27 pm

    Oh- and GOTR is an AMAZING volunteer opportunity. As a teacher, it was sometimes rough to teach kids all day, change into running clothes, and then coach. Not gonna lie… it took some major rallying some days- until you got there, got started, and then the time flew by. I always left GLOWING after practice. GOTR changed me, maybe more than it helped the girls!! Thanks for getting the word out! It’s really amazing!

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 10:09 pm

      🙂 thanks for volunteering michelle!

  • Army Amy* August 31, 2011, 7:37 pm

    I couldn’t agree more about listening, really listening to kids. I’m a teacher with 100+ middle school students. It can be hard to hear all of them sometimes, but so worth it.*

  • Kait @ One Love Run August 31, 2011, 7:43 pm

    GOTR seems like such an amazing organization! I would love to get involved in something like that.

  • Jessica August 31, 2011, 7:47 pm

    I know I’m not the first one to say this, but your posts in the past inspired me to look into GOTR in the Cincinnati area, attend a meeting to learn more about it, and sign up to be an assistant coach this year to a team of 4th graders. When we were asked how we heard about GOTR, I said that I read it on your blog and Eric at Cincinnati GOTR said she had just met you earlier this year! I am greatly looking forward to coaching and I’m considering being a Solemate for a marathon that I am going to be training for next spring. Keep spreading the GOTR message – people are listening!

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 10:10 pm

      How cool 🙂 Thanks for volunteering, Jessica!

  • Mel August 31, 2011, 7:47 pm

    I would say that since I was in middle school, volunteering has been a large and important part of my life! A lot of what I did initially was through my faith based affiliations with church and school, but I think that my desire to serve others has since grown from that. I really believe that volunteering is a two-way process- you help others, but in turn they help you in some way. It really is a beautiful thing! All of this has culminated for me by my acceptance into the Peace Corps! I will be leaving this March to serve two years in Morocco, where I will be teaching English to kids in a youth center (called a Dar Chebab). Joining the Peace Corps is literally a dream come true for me!

    PS- I’m about halfway through the Operation Beautiful book (which I bought for my little sister, but started reading first!) and LOVE the term “energy vampire.” Super random…but I called my Dad one jokingly, and now he uses it all the time!

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 10:10 pm

      Thank you for reading OB!!

  • Kim August 31, 2011, 7:52 pm

    I’m starting my first season of coaching GOTR in a week and I’m so excited! I teach third grade and I know that it’s going to be a big responsibility on top of all the other teaching responsibilities, but I’m hoping that it is an inspiring and fun end to the work day. I love reading about your experiences!

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 10:11 pm

      Yay I am so glad you are coaching. 🙂 Have a blast, Kim!

  • Joanna @ things after the rings August 31, 2011, 8:12 pm

    what a cool program. i can only imagine how inspiring these girls are for you and how you are for them. i love the reciprocal nature of volunteering. there are times when you can go into it tired or overwhelmed from a bad day and you come out of it completely energized, the bad feelings completely gone. i did a lot of volunteering in college and have been thinking it’s something i’d like to add to back into my life again. i can’t wait to look into GOTR in DC.

    thank you for sharing this. i had a draining day of work today and have been kind of a zombie since i got home and this post really made me smile. thanks again!

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 10:11 pm

      Aw you’re welcome!

  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runner August 31, 2011, 8:37 pm

    I was the head coach at the school I teach at this past spring and LOVED it! I think it was a little harder to coach the girls I teach everyday, but I had SO MUCH FUN! I WILL do it again sometime, but with a baby on the way and a husband who is a paid XC + track coach, I just don’t have the time. I will be reliving my GOTR coaching days through you!

  • Selena August 31, 2011, 8:56 pm

    Hearing…um, reading your words about GOTR makes me all teary eyed. Those girls are so lucky to have you in their lives. I can’t WAIT for my 7 year old to be able to join next year! Such a wonderful program!

    The only downside (for the program at our school anyway) is that there’s only one team and it is first come first serve and it is right after school. So, that means that the families that aren’t as involved in the PTA, etc. are not as likely to know about it and grab those slots when they come up, and they aren’t as likely to be able to have transportation for them at that time of day. I think the girls that need it the most at the school are probably not getting the chance to be involved. Maybe one day I’ll be able to start another team…maybe by the time girl #3 is old enough.

    • Krissy @ Make It Naked August 31, 2011, 9:13 pm

      Selena, I coach in Northern Va and we had this problem. We were able to find another coach and have two teams at our school now. Is there anyway to ask the current coach to recruit another coach? Maybe one group could meet in the morning before school and one could meet after? Hopefully that could accommodate most girls? I know GOTR hates turning away girls and they make it their goal not to so I’m sure even your local GOTR contact person may be able to help find another coach.
      Caitlin, GREAT post. This organization is near and dear to me and your post got me SO excited for the fall season!!

      • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 10:12 pm

        Yes! Call your city’s headquarters and express a need for more coaches at your school!

  • Brooke @ Tales of a Bride-To-Be August 31, 2011, 9:27 pm

    This is my first year being a running buddy and I am over the moon excited! I cannot wait for it to start! I wanted to do it after reading one of your posts and was so thrilled when I received the ok to be a part of it. Needless to say I love the message it sends.

  • Amanda @ The Beauty Notebooks August 31, 2011, 9:46 pm

    I was *this* close to volunteering for GOTR this past spring as a running buddy, but something else came up for that weekend! I would love love love to get involved after I’m back from Scotland in 2012!

  • Willow @ My Own Trail August 31, 2011, 9:55 pm

    I love reading your posts about GOTR. My daughter just turned seven, and I would love for her to be able to participate in a program someday. I would also love to be able to coach a group of girls. I just checked the GOTR website and discovered that there is no group in my area. So…I just submitted an interest email asking how I can form a council in my area. I figure I have a year until my daughter is old enough to participate, so I have enough time to get things organized if they accept my application. Thank you for posting about this fabulous organization!

    • Caitlin August 31, 2011, 10:13 pm

      That is awesome! I wish you the best of luck!

  • Khushboo August 31, 2011, 10:12 pm

    This post warmed my heart, you and K are such positive role models. When I first moved to Mumba and was unemployed, I volunteered as a teacher in a school for slum children and I’m so glad I did it. It’s funny how the youngest of individuals can open up your eyes to whole new horizons. Even though I was the ‘teacher’, I felt like they taught me a lot!

  • Emily @ Comfortable Home Life August 31, 2011, 10:38 pm

    That video was SO emotional — I think it’s the music.. ha! Thank you, as always, for being an inspiration. I just added “volunteer for GOTR” to my life-to-do list. Not sure I can commit this season (especially because my work schedule is unpredictable right now!), but you bet your butt I will be all over this in the future!

  • Chelsea September 1, 2011, 12:46 am

    I’m wearing my GOTR tshirt right now to bed haha =D I ran my first 5k with those magical kids <3 I wish I had the time to volunteer with them right now, but I have 14hr credit hours and am working 20+hrs/week :(( It sounds like SUCH a fun experience though.

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) September 1, 2011, 2:24 am

    What a cool organization. They are indeed blessed to have you as a mentor to these young girls.

    My husband and I volunteer a few times a year serving lunch at a church near downtown Houston for the homeless/inner city population. This church specifically reaches out the the homeless/inner city community and provides a free hot lunch each and every Sunday afternoon, without fail. It is such a humbling experience to help prep and serve the food, clean up, and spend time in conversation with some folks that I would most likely never cross paths with otherwise.

  • Jamie September 1, 2011, 11:27 am

    I checked into GOTR in my area and the local YMCA gave it up a few years back because of the expense. Closest branch is 400 miles away…so frustrating. I am currently seeking any advise on starting a branch or another, equally as important organization! Local school girls running group maybe? So proud of you for your involvement! Jamie

    • CaitlinHTP September 1, 2011, 3:38 pm

      I’m not sure of any other organizations but you should contact GOTR and see how you can bring the program to your area!

  • Amber K September 1, 2011, 1:02 pm

    I think it is so great what you do for those girls! I think volunteering is an essential part of living. Giving to others gives so much more to ourselves.

  • Nicole @ September 1, 2011, 2:37 pm

    Loved this post! I’ve been trying to think of something to get involved with after my ride next weekend! I’ve emailed my local group to help out with the Lollipop Run committee!

  • Dee September 1, 2011, 6:19 pm

    Definitely agree with you on the many layered value of volunteering. It’s amazing how much the volunteer gains emotionally/psychicly from the experience. I’ve volunteered with kids in various capacities over the years, and currently I work with CASA, an organization that provides mentors for kids living in foster care. And I love it! I wish they had GOTR for high school aged kids, because self-esteem is a huge issue for foster kids, yet, they tend not to like counseling or dwelling on their issues. GOTR sounds like a way to have fun, bond, and gain self-esteem benefits in a really positive way.

  • Tanya @ Vegan Faith September 2, 2011, 3:31 pm

    Great post Caitlin…I just blasted this out to everyone I know 🙂

  • Alett September 2, 2011, 10:47 pm

    Cannot wait to start assistant coaching this fall!! My first time : )

  • Sarah September 3, 2011, 7:27 am

    Coaching for GOTR is something I’d LOVE to get involved with. BUT there isn’t a council in my county and starting one would take some major bucks. Do you have any tips you would share with me on where to go from here?

    • CaitlinHTP September 3, 2011, 9:11 am

      I would try to figure out who else in your area wants to bring GOTR to your area. It’s a lot of work but people do it all the time!

  • Katy @ HaveYouHurd September 6, 2011, 2:30 pm

    I am also a Coach (girl’s basketball) and I find it to be such a rewarding experience. Like yourself, I sometimes dread going to practice everday because of the million other things I have to do, but at the end of the day it’s so worth it. The impact you’re making on these kid’s lives is unmeasurable. Someone told me something about coaching that stuck with me, and it’s absolutely true. They said, “You might not remember every single girl you coach, because there will be hundreds, but you better believe that they will remember you forever.” These girls will remember you and the lessons they learned from you for the rest of their lives. Now, that’s special.

  • Alexis September 24, 2011, 12:34 am

    I had been thinking about it, but through reading your site, I realized I could totally do it! I am an assistant coach at the south side elementary school. I love the girls so much and they love me to. We are learning lots and running. It is amazing! 🙂 This is my first but not last season! 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP September 24, 2011, 12:35 pm

      Thank you for volunteering!

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