I Just Want to Give Back
I'm so happy and full of life at the moment. I worked out super hard all week and this weekend I get to rest! I'll probably do a little yoga on Sunday but for the most part I am definitely resting this weekend. I'm just so proud of myself for sticking with these early morning workouts because waking up at 5:30am is not easy but it's always worth it.
Today I just want to share some news about something that I'm super excited about working on this year - GIVING BACK! Last year I attended a few middle school volleyball games in the Bronx and it broke my heart to see many of the girls playing without uniforms and knee pads. Most of them had sweats on and maybe a team shirt, but for the most part they didn't look like an official volleyball team and it bothered me so much. I guess it was because I compared it to my experience playing middle and high school sports in Florida and it made me sad to know that these girls would never experience playing on a team the same way I did.
When I played volleyball the entire team had matching uniforms and knee pads. Basketball was on an entire different level as we had Nike warm-up suits, Nike gym bags, home and away uniforms, mouth-guards, every little thing you could think of. At the end of the season we had award ceremonies and during the off-season we conditioned. We even went to camps in the summer to improve our skills. Granted, I'm sure these girls would never play at that level but you get my point. My experience playing sports in a public school in Florida was completely different to theirs and the fact that they didn't have the basic necessities like knee pads to play volleyball was not ok with me.
I shared this online and so many of you reached out to help. Luckily, Noemi's mom stepped in and bought them all uniforms and knee pads. The girls were so happy! I wish you all could have seen how confident they played after they got their uniforms. They ultimately came in 2nd place during their championship game.
This whole experience ignited something in me. I wanted to figure out a way to give back to young women in my community of Washington Heights and the Bronx. How could I raise money using my platform to help cover the needs of these young girls? At the time I didn't know how I could make the logistics of this work but in my heart I knew it was something that I wanted to do in 2018 so I put it on my vision board.
A few hours ago I was tagged in this amazing post and I'm so excited because this is EXACTLY what I have been hoping for in regards to giving back. When I saw this post I screamed with excitement and immediately called Angy. We shared some ideas and will hopefully have some exciting updates soon.
Basically what I want to do is an ongoing fundraiser throughout the year for a group of students in the Bronx or Washington Heights and I want it to be called #VecinasGiveBack. I want to raise monthly funds for whatever needs these girls or boys may have this year. Whether its prom, college applications, field trips, school supplies, school clothes, whatever. I just want to have a fund that can be tapped into for whatever needs arise. My hope is to able to meet these students over time and share exactly where the money is going and how it's being used.
I'm excited to share more details about this soon and will be sure to keep you all updated. Giving back is something that truly fills my heart. It's not just about making donations, it's about making a difference and I vow to use the platform I've been given to do just that.