TAMPA, Fla. — A nonprofit organization is holding a virtual 5K amid COVID-19. All the money raised will go toward scholarships for young girls in the program.
The goal of the nonprofit, Girls on the Run, is to use running and fun activities to teach young girls life lessons. It's an after-school program at dozens of local elementary schools and serves more than 1,300 girls in the Tampa Bay area.
"Girls face these really tough conflicting messages about who they are supposed to be as they get older," said Laura Moore, the Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Council.
Like all of us, the organization had to make major changes due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing guidelines.
The girls work up to a big end-of-season 5K that typically takes place in St. Petersburg. Due to CDC guidelines, the nonprofit cannot hold the 5K in-person, so it is going virtual.
"It's where the girls really graduate the program. They get to put all of their lessons that they have learned into action at the 5K," said Moore.
This 5K is not just for the girls in the program, it's for their family, friends, neighbors and the community.
"Support the girls. Normally we would be running right next to them but now we are running virtually next to them and it's still super meaningful," said Moore.
There is a suggested donation of $25, but it is by no means a requirement.
Moore says give what you can, if you have the means, because every dollar raised goes to a scholarship fund to make sure any girl, regardless of her financial situation, can be a Girl on the Run.
"Everyone can sign up because you get to feel the 'Girls on the Run' sparkle," said Moore.
The virtual 5K is open to everyone and you do not have to be a runner. It takes place the week of April 27 - May 2.
You can run, walk or jog a 5K or 1 mile loop. For more information, and to register, click here.