You never know where a friendship will turn up. You never know where you will find someone that you have been missing and not even know it until you meet. When my oldest, Molly, made her middle school cheer team last year, it never crossed my mind that I may gain new friendships. I also didn’t realize that I would be sitting through weekly football games and then followed by four basketball games a week!
Last year I dreaded the arrival of basketball season and the many hours I would accumulate in a middle school gym that was loud (very loud) and sometimes a bit smelly. A group of us “cheer moms”, (did I just refer to myself as a cheer mom, for real???) began sitting together and chatting it up to help the time pass by. As the season progressed, the games became much more enjoyable to attend. This year I actually looked forward to games where I could sit and share with my “cheer mom” friends. We compare middle school teen stories (actually nightmares) that we are living, shared recipes and travel recommendations. Lots of laughing and appreciated advice all around.
Today I am sharing with you my “cheer mom” friend, Carrie Hanson, Executive Director of Girls On The Run Charlotte. I love this organization and what it stands for and how it is received in our community. I love how their message of empowerment and strength is mental and physical. The happiness and love that all of their volunteers hold is unique. Cheer season is officially over and the girls will be going to different high schools next year, but our friendship will remain; we spent way too many evenings in a sweaty gym or on the sidelines of a football field to let that diminish.
Smarty Mom: Carrie Hanson
Husband: David, works at Bank of America and trains for Ironman races like it was his job.
Kids: Kira (6th grade) Kylie (8th grade) Andrew (11th grade)
Dogs: Watson & Sonny (2 year old Whoodle brothers) and Casey (14 year-old grumpy Shih-Tzu)
Hometown: I grew up in Ann Arbor, MI and lived in Atlanta, GA for 15 years before moving to Charlotte. We currently live in Providence Springs.
Job: Executive Director of Girls on the Run Charlotte.
Tell us about your job.
Girls on the Run is a positive youth development afterschool program for girls in 3rd-8th grade. Started in 1996 right here in Charlotte with just 13 girls, GOTR is now in all 50 states serving over 200,000 girls each year! We inspire girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them unique. Trained coaches lead teams of 8-15 girls through our research-based curriculum which includes character development and life-skills lessons and of course running. Over the ten-week season, the girls develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish healthy habits. Each season, the girls complete a community service project showcasing their teamwork and empathy skills. They come up with the idea for the project and execute it themselves. Projects my teams have done include hosting collection drives for local animal shelters, making cards and gifts for Levine Children’s Hospital and creating goodie bags and guides for new students coming to their school mid-year. The program culminates with a celebratory 5K event where the girls realize that they can accomplish more than they ever imagined, giving them a tangible feeling of accomplishment. Read More →