By: Rachel Mattovich
In a world where we are inundated with global headlines, it is hard to remember that what we do in our own lives really does make a difference. After listening to an hour-long program of global news, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the chaos of the world, and I found myself thinking deeper about the human quality of hopefulness, what it is and why it is really important to us. It was at that moment when my eyes caught the text on the spine of a book on my roommate’s bookshelf ironically titled: Hope Dies Last. The first line began, “Hope has never trickled down. It has always sprung up,” and feeling perplexed, I decided to look up the definition of hope.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, hope is the state which promotes the desire of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s own life or in the world at large. After reading this definition, I realized that for hope to exist, it requires individual action—the desire to engage, contribute and initiate change in our environment. To feel that what we do counts, and that as individuals, we count. The truth is, we all have the potential to cultivate hope. We just have to act.
Hope is at the heart of More Than Me (MTM). In fact, without it MTM would cease to exist. In the spirit of hope, we wanted to take time to honor the recent efforts of some of our most dedicated and dynamic supporters.
Gwyneth (left) with her friend on the day of the race.
Meet Gwyneth: A 13 year-old 8th grader from Califon, New Jersey. Gwyneth met Katie, our founder, two years ago at a friend’s Promise Party. Upon meeting Katie, Gwyneth says,
“Katie’s enthusiasm about MTM is contagious. I heard about MTM and the girls, and it made me sad. I wanted to help them. The girls are close to my age and I was saddened by the hardships that they face.”
It was then that Gwyneth decided to take action. What began as an effort towards earning her Girl Scout Silver Award, morphed into greater efforts to spread awareness in her local community for women, girls and MTM, in the form of her favorite sport: running.
When Gywneth heard about the MTM girls training to run in the 10K for our Meet Her At the Finish Line campaign, she decided to build a team in her hometown that would run at the same time, to show solidarity and support for the girls. Through her efforts and passion, Gwyneth won our fundraising campaign, and truly touched the hearts of our girls in Liberia.
As the ING New York City Marathon approaches this weekend, running has become a vehicle for resonating hope, once again. This year we have six amazing people participating and fundraising for MTM in the marathon. They’ve decided their role in creating change will be as athletes – as people who are active and striving to push their bodies to be as healthy as possible and be a role model for what they believe in.
The race is this Sunday, and the runners hope to inspire all of the MTM girls to keep working and pushing themselves to be the best they can be. So if you find yourself searching for hope in this vast world, here’s your chance: you can support our marathon runners today by donating to their fundraising pages, here.
All it takes is a desire to participate in your surroundings to foster hope; so I encourage you to take this inspiration and run with it (literally and figuratively)!