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SPOTLIGHT – The Magic of Volunteering

By Ann Skye

Recently, I’ve been thinking about my life purpose, a part of which is making a positive difference for children in my community. I’ve been involved in Girls of the Run of the Triangle ever since QuintilesIMS (then Quintiles) started sponsoring the non-profit organization. Over the years, my involvement in GOTR has grown, from supporting the sponsorship through my role at work, to running in the 5K, to volunteering at events, and now to being on the Board for GOTR. As my responsibilities and commitments grew, I feared I would feel an increased burden on my time and energy. What I found instead was a place to grow personally and in relationships to others and my community. That’s the magic of volunteering from your purpose.

My very first experience with GOTR was running the 5K in 2010 in Downtown Durham. I was getting back into running after childbirth and it was a rough run, to say the least. What got me through was the constant affirmations I heard from running buddies, encouraging, entertaining, distracting and otherwise getting their girl to keep moving forward and ultimately crossing the finish line. Love, support, and positive energy were in the air, I was breathing it in and it got me through. Later, I found out that was taken right out of the GOTR play book and the way everything is done at Girls on the Run!

My most recent experiences have been visiting an after school GOTR session at Eastway Elementary, observing coaches training, and goal setting at the board retreat. Each and every way I contact GOTR leaders, staff, coaches, board members, and volunteers, I find dedicated men and women with a strong purpose, working together to advance the mission of the organization. Clearly it is a part of their own personal missions as well. 

When people volunteer in a way that matches their life purpose, it’s hard to tell who is helping whom, but good things happen and everyone benefits!    

The Triangle is very lucky to have GOTR in our midst and I encourage all families with Third through Eighth grade girls to seek them out for support for raising joyful, healthy and confident girls, inspiration and volunteer opportunities. I’ll see you at the 5K on April 29th and that child I had back in 2009 is looking forward to being an “official” Girl on the Run next year. There’s that magic again!

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Ann Skye is a long time Durham resident who enjoys nature, meditation, the arts and her family & friends. She leads Employee Well-being at QuintilesIMS and can be reached at Ann.Skye@QuintilesIMS.com.