Hi all! As many of you know, 2019 was an amazing year of personal growth, and the single biggest challenge of my life that I committed to was running the 2020 Boston Marathon on behalf of an amazing nonprofit, Dream Big!. This will be my first marathon ever!
So far it has been an exciting and eye opening experience, starting with a team run on snow and ice in 20 degree weather during week one to nonstop cold rain during the week two and five team runs. I can only imagine what the coming weeks of training will have in store for me.
Some of you may think ‘Ana you’re CRAZY for doing this!’, and you might be right. This being said, I feel like I owe it to all the young girls whom Dream Big! supports to give it my all. I am running and raising money so that they might have the same access to resources, healthy lifestyle and a bright future through their involvement in sports as I did.
Dream Big! works to provide girls from low-income situations with the equipment, uniforms, sports attire, athletic footwear, program fees, training expenses, sports opportunities and the supplies they need to participate in sports and physical activities that contribute to their health, education and overall well-being.
I hope you will join me today in giving to Dream Big! this year and help me to achieve my goal of raising $10,000. No gift is too small, together we will have a huge impact on the amount raised for these girls.
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As you support me and the 2020 Dream Big! Boston Marathon Team in our quest to reach the Boston Marathon finish line and our fundraising goals, please know that you are changing the lives of so many inspirational girls and young women.
I remember it like it was yesterday, the first time my parents took me to the local sporting goods store and I was able to pick out my very own pair of adidas® sambas. At the time I was eight years old and I thought, “With these shoes I’ll be able to run faster, maneuver better and make so many goals. This is what all the pros are wearing. These shoes are my ticket to being an indoor soccer star!” It’s amazing the confidence that good gear, inspirational role models and the support of your community can give an individual.
I am sure many of you can remember your heart pounding as you geared up to walk on the field for the first time for a night game or the first game of the season in the gymnasium. The lights bright above you, or streaming on the court. The crowd going wild. And you’re thinking, this is it, I’ve trained so hard for this, LET’S DO THIS! Whether you have been an athlete or a supporter of an athlete, the energy of movement and team collaboration is infectious.
I often think about these experiences and the impact that being involved in sports had on me as a young woman. I believe sports and team environments are hugely important for young people, especially girls and young women, as they develop through school and into adulthood. They’re an invaluable source of community building, collaboration and development of self-worth and confidence. Many of the skills and relationships that are built while participating in sports can directly and indirectly impact wellbeing, personal development and accessibility to future opportunities. I feel very fortunate to have been active in individual and team sports my whole life, and humbled knowing not all girls and young women have this opportunity.
I believe that as a community it is important for us to come together to help breakdown the economic barrier that prevents many girls from low-income situations from participating in sports and physical activities. This is why I am giving to Dream Big! and why I support their mission. On April 20, 2020, I will be running with the 2020 Dream Big! Boston Marathon Team to help raise awareness of the great work this team is doing within our community and provide even more girls access to the sports equipment and funding they need to support their dreams. I invite you to join me in this effort by giving today.
About Dream Big!
Dream Big! works to provide girls from low-income situations with the with the equipment, uniforms, sports attire, athletic footwear, program fees, training expenses, sports opportunities and the supplies they need to participate in sports and physical activities that contribute to their health, education and overall well-being.
Over the past nine years Dream Big! programs have had a direct impact on more than 42,000 girls and young women in need through equipment donations, program fee scholarships, sports clinics, college showcases and the Dream Big! Leadership Conferences for middle and high school female athletes in urban communities.
Unfortunately, poverty can severely limit a young girl’s involvement in sports. Dream Big! is working to breakdown the financial barrier that currently prevents thousands of girls from participating.
Here are a few examples of the impact Dream Big! donations had this past year: Dream Big! donated over $200,000 in new sports attire, uniforms and athletic footwear to girls track, basketball, double dutch, volleyball, softball and soccer athletes in urban communities; a donation of a volleyball net and equipment allowed a middle school volleyball team to add a girls volleyball program to their school; Dream Big! Program Scholarships sent hundreds of student athletes to basketball college showcases, soccer and basketball camps and dance classes. In addition hundreds of girls attended Dream Big! Sports Clinics in partnership with local college sports teams and over 200 middle and high school female athletes from urban communities attended the 7th Annual Dream Big! Leadership Conference at UMASS Boston.