Ash Grove’s Girls on the Run organization collects pet food for Circle of Paws

Members of the Ash Grove chapter of Girls on the Run wrapped up their 10-week program with a community impact project that benefitted Circle of Paws in Ash Grove. The 12 girls who made up the chapter managed to collect 13 bags of cat food, weighing a total of 56 pounds, over a week’s time. They delivered the pet food on Monday, May 13.
Ty Thornton, the club’s head coach, said the purpose of the community impact project was to provide the girls with a character-building activity which emphasized teamwork and community service.
“The girls learned about decision making and compromise in their lessons before deciding on what individuals, group or places they wanted to help with their project,” she said. “So, not everyone may have agreed with the final decision, or it may not have been their idea, but they all still supported it and participated in the project. After they decided on helping a local pet shelter, Circle of Paws was contacted to inquire what needs they had. Susan Mattox shared that they needed cat food. The girls made posters to hang around the school to spread awareness as well as shared with their classmates, family, and friends about their project. Children at school turned in their donations and the girls brought their donations in from friends and family.”
Thornton said the community impact project empowers the girls by showing them what they are capable of doing in their community.
“The community impact project is a part of the Girls on the Run curriculum,” she said. “It is designed to give the girls a voice or sense of empowerment by picking someone or something they want to improve or help in their community and then doing something about it. It provides the girls an opportunity to practice and experience service to others.”
While the members of Girls on the Run do a lot of physical activity, Thornton said there is much more to them than just running.
“There is a misconception that Girls on the Run is just a running club,” she said. “While we do run and many other physical activities, with the 5K being our end goal, the girls have structured lessons each week that help them learn about self-esteem, emotions, making friends, standing up for others, conflict resolution, community service and so much more.”
Girls on the Run begins their next 10-week session this fall after school begins. Fall registration is July 15 to Aug. 20, and the program will be Aug. 26 to Nov. 14 with the 5K taking place Nov. 3. Website is


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