Let's talk serious for a few minutes. First off, I want to say that I love charities. I love helping people and seeing good things done for good people. Unfortunately, events in my life have turned me into a cynic. I don't love as freely as I used to, and I don't believe in the good of people like I used to. A lesson I should've learned WAY earlier in life is that there are many, many bad, selfish, and rude people in the world. Being a good person does not omit you from the cruelty of the world. In fact, it's probably worse b/c nice people are less likely to fight back. Those mean and bad people probably outnumber the good ones, really. It makes me sad to admit that, and for years I refused to acknowledge the harsh truth. Okay, back track to last summer this time. As some of you might remember, I decided to run the Chicago Marathon for Team Tiara, a charity to benefit Girls on the Run. At the time, I also organized a running camp for girls in my town to raise interest in a hopefully future GOTR club. The camp was a hit and I was also able to raise over $500 for Team Tiara. After a few months of work and research, I was able to complete an application to become a GOTR affiliate w/ the YMCA. The people at the YMCA were so supportive of the whole process. They even fronted the $100 application fee. All the while, I assumed if the work was put in, a GOTR chapter would be granted to us. I did everything by the book, the paperwork including statistics about our town, narrative about myself and our goals. I was in contact w/ a very nice lady from GOTR during this whole process and it was never ONCE indicated to me that we might be rejected. I submitted everything by the November deadline and was told that I would receive notification by December 31. At that point, Vivian (person that volunteered to co-lead the program)and I would go to training in North Carolina.
The thing is, we were so excited that we pretty much told everyone about GOTR. By the time December ended and I still hadn't heard anything, I emailed the same lady that had helped me many times before. And... rejection. Yep, flat out rejection. That's the summary of it, but I will continue with my rant below.
I was so shocked. The whole duration of the process, I never imagined that rejection was an option. I thought that as long as you fulfilled the requirements, you were in. After all, the only thing they give you is instructional material. It's not like they were writing checks for a million dollars or taking you to visit The President. Sheez. So, I emailed back and questioned what was happening b/c I was honestly confused by this. Our situation was cookie cutter for what I thought GOTR stood for. We are a small, country town w/ very low incomes. Our kids are out of shape and girls have very few athletic opportunities. Doesn't that scream charity need? There were two reasons given to me for our rejection:
1. I have a full time job and, according to someone that has never met me, I would not be able to handle that job AND GOTR.
2. Our town does not show potential growth for GOTR.
Alright, so... I had Vivian on board that works at the YMCA, totally dedicated to doing anything needed for GOTR. Plus, everyone that's not on welfare in this town has a job. That's what people do in blue collar towns, they work! If they had cared to ask, I am not your average lazy girl. Heck, before we moved here I trained for marathons, coached varsity track, completed a master's degree, AND taught school all day. So there.
The "potential growth" thing is crap. That's a nice way of saying that our town is too redneck and they don't want us spoiling their precious image. I've got news, though. The poor redneck children are the exact ones that need programs like GOTR the most! They are the ones that don't have female role models or athletic opportunities. They don't have soccer moms to drive them around all day in Escalades between tee-ball, ballet, and singing lessons. Heck, they're lucky if their moms comb their hair before they run to catch the bus in the morning.
Alright, I'm really sorry that was so harsh. It's just been a very disappointing 2009. I miss my old see-the-good-in-everything attitude. You hear about people w/ rose colored glasses? Well, I've seemed to have lost mine.
All is not lost, and I am not a quitter. For that reason, I am so proud to say that today was first day of Go, Girl, Go girls' running camp at the YMCA. We had more girls than last year and are making it better than ever! Check back later this week for a newspaper clipping about the camp.
Ps. If you know any of the higher-ups from GOTR, tell them the YMCA wants their $100 back! LOL. Fat chance.
I've got my whole life to change the world and climb the ladders. ~Sugarland