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GOTR Spirit in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

Posted Molly Mayo on 12/22/2017 |


At Girls on the Run Greater Houston, we’ve had a season unlike any other. Hurricane Harvey dropped over 50 inches of rain and caused devastating floods throughout the Houston area a few weeks before the scheduled start of our Fall 2017 season. Girls and their families had to be relocated, others had to be rescued when the flooding became so extreme. Many homes and schools received inches to feet of water. Our own Executive Director, Mary T Callahan, was forced to take a boat to and from her home and office for ten days when her home flooded. The Houston community learned more about drywall and demolition than anyone would ever want to know. We became #HoustonStrong overnight.

We never could have planned for a natural disaster, but what came next was unexpected in the best of ways. Before Harvey had even left the Houston area, we were already hearing from Girls on the Run councils and teams from across the country who were looking for ways to help and checking in to make sure we were okay.

The response from our Girls on the Run community was overwhelming and humbling. The outpour of kindness and generosity we received is the perfect real life example of acting out the GOTR Core Values. 

Teams from across the country thought of us when it came time to pick their Community Impact Project. We heard from over 25 individual teams and created a “Sister Team” project to connect the teams looking to help with our Greater Houston teams!

One of the first teams to reach out to us was the Northport K8 team from Girls on the Run Treasure Coast. Despite going through their own season delays from Hurricane Irma, the girls sent cards, drawings, and a team chain to show their support for their sister team at Freeman Elementary School. Near the end of the season, each girl at Northport earned one piece of tulle for each lap they ran. The girls then their tulle to create a tutu for each girl on their sister team! 


Some sister teams sent personalized letters with inspiring messages. Other crafted gifts like hair ties or tutus for our girls to wear at our celebratory 5K. Regardless of the packaging, each team sent the same message: your sister team is thinking of you.

Thank you to all of our sister teams and GOTR councils for keeping Houston in your hearts this Girls on the Run season! It has been inspiring to see the GOTR Core Values so thoughtfully exemplified from girls, volunteer coaches, and councils from all over the United States. We are grateful to you all for sending some GOTR Spirit to Houston!

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