For my 5th ever half marathon I have decided to start a fundraiser for a program and organization close to my heart. Some of you know that I have been involved with the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation (HLF) since its inception in 2014. Yes, for my 5th half marathon, HLF is also turning 5!!!
In 2015, HLF started its own program called the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation Young Ambassador (HLFYA) Program. Children aged 12-18 apply to the 9 month program and if accepted they are required to: perform 15 hours of community service, create and run 1 independent service project and separately volunteer for HLF. It begins with an introductory meeting and ends with a meet & greet experience with Henrik and Therese. Throughout the year HLF also sponsors several volunteer opportunities and service learning activities for the ambassadors to participate in. Besides the amazing results from the 36 young ambassadors that have completed the program so far, they learn lessons for life:
The meaning & importance of philanthropy Empathy Leadership skills How to act as role model in your community and beyond It is a first mentor & ‘work’ experience for most Public speaking practice Exposure to various HLF corporate & community partners Relationships built outside of your everyday sport, school, family and friends circles
The list can go on but to witness the pride these young adults take in being first a HLF Young Ambassador and eventually a mentor to other participants is truly incredible. Furthermore, watching them mature and grow over these years to become true leaders is inspiring.
As HLF continues to broaden the Young Ambassador Program, one of our goals is to make sure it is accessible to any interested child in the Tri-State area and to expand the benefits of participation to include scholarship opportunities. Therefore the money raised through my GoFundMe fundraiser will go directly to create a HLFYA Programming & Scholarship Fund. HLF will use this Fund to support transportation for program participants who cannot afford or may not have parental support to travel to our events, funding to help them cover small service project related costs (e.g., craft supplies, shipping costs) and scholarship opportunities for exemplary participants.
Our goal is to ensure that the lessons learned from giving back are accessible to all youth, including those who may have limited resources and support available to them at home.
Thank you for your support & I hope you will cheer me on on April 6th in Asbury Park!