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The GOTR Atlanta 5K: 1 Month and Counting! (Giveaway Post)

April 1, 2010

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This post was contributed by Kelly Walsh, Race Committee Chairman on the GOTR Atlanta Board of Directors.

Ready, Set, Volunteer!   I’ve heard it said that “Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something…”, and boy isn’t that true!  One of my first and most memorable volunteer experiences took place in April in Washington, D.C., many many moons ago when I volunteered to help clean up and fix up a house for a project called Christmas in April.  I will admit I agreed to do it for some altruistic reasons and for some possibly selfish reasons.  Certainly I wanted to do something good for a family in my community, but I also wanted to meet some nice people and – maybe here’s the selfish reason – I wanted to have something new to tell others about myself and what I do besides that I work and I work out.  Of course working hard at one’s job and being physically fit are two important pursuits.  One keeps you fed and clothed and the other keeps you healthy and sane – right!  But what about helping to keep others fed and clothed, or help them get physically fit?  Once I opened my eyes to the opportunities in the universe of volunteering, I realized you can help out all kinds of people while marrying your interests and passions with volunteering.     

After I moved to Atlanta I was fortunate to work for a Fortune 50 company that truly considers community service and philanthropy to be a significant responsibility of each employee, and I was supported by my company in my efforts to be active in that way.  Through work I volunteered at the Atlanta Food Bank, Goodwill, and an inner city daycare for children of some of the poorest of poor working class mothers.  I helped out at the Special Olympics and taught 2nd and 3rd graders as a Jr. Achievement teacher.  I’m listing these gigs not to brag about myself, but to say that I was lucky to be given the time and opportunity to help and to volunteer.  Volunteering is its own gift that gives right back to you when you do it.  It is a smile that smiles back.   

For several years now my primary community outreach has been to young girls across Atlanta through the programs offered by Girls on the Run.  Volunteering as a coach and now a board member has been as satisfying and rewarding as any job I’ve ever had.  I hope for anyone who can carve out a little time that you too can experience the fun, the rewards, the camaraderie, and the satisfaction of giving some of yourself to help others in a way that you too find meaningful.   

As we do every year in the fall and spring, we will be reaching out to our community of supporters and beyond to ask for volunteers at our New Balance Girls on the Run 5K race on May 1.  We can’t put on a successful race without volunteers, and every season we find more helping hands that make the day great.  If you are looking for a new way to give back and want to have a fun morning that is family friendly and just over the top wonderful please come join us!   Email Sara Butler at to find out more about volunteering on race day.    To all the Volunteers out there – keep up the good work!

For the next week, everyone who comments on this post and either a) registers for the race or b) signs up to volunteer at the race will be entered into a drawing to win a long-sleeved volunteer tee or “Chicken Soup for Volunteers”!

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