There’s nothing quite like the feeling of lacing up your sneakers, taking a deep breath of fresh air, and going for a run. It’s a time to clear your mind, push your limits, and feel the power of your own two feet. For many of us, running is a passion that we cultivate over time, a source of strength and vitality that we rely on to carry us through life’s challenges.
But what if we could share that passion with the next generation of young women? What if we could inspire them to believe in themselves, to build confidence and resilience, and to take on the world with joy and determination? That’s the vision behind Girls on the Run, an incredible organization that is changing lives one stride at a time, but is also about so much more than running. With programming available in over 12,000 locations across North America, Girls on the Run is dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams, regardless of ability or background.
At Caribou Coffee, we are proud to be partnering with Girls on the Run for our fifth year to support this inspiring mission. For us, it’s not just about selling great coffee (although we do that too!). It’s about being part of a community that believes in the power of young women to achieve their dreams. Through our partnership with Girls on the Run, we are not only raising funds and awareness for this amazing organization, but we are also empowering our own team members to get involved and make a difference in their own communities. From volunteering as coaches, to working at the ‘Bou Truck at Girls on the Run events, our team members are stepping up and showing their support in countless ways.
From coffee to coaching
As a parent of a former participant in the program, Caribou Coffee’s Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition, Erica Edwards saw the impact it had on her daughter’s life and wanted to give back to the community. Erica’s experience as a coach has impacted her life in many ways, both personally and professionally. In 2022, she committed to a better mindset and health and decided to challenge herself by participating in a Girls on the Run event during the colder months in Minnesota.
“You are never too young or old to learn something new,” says Erica. “I grew up around unhealthy eating and exercise was walking to school or running from a loose dog in the neighborhood. I wanted girls that were brown and curvy like me to see that you can be confident and push yourself outside of your comfort zone.”
Her involvement with Girls on the Run helped her gain a better appreciation for teachers and volunteers and made her proud to work for a company that supports the organization’s mission—and Caribou provides paid volunteer hours to eligible employees as an added bonus.
Erica is grateful for the opportunity to connect with the girls and make a positive impact on their lives. As a part of the Girls on the Run community, Erica has seen firsthand the impact it has on the girls’ sense of connection and belonging. “Take a moment to speak to your inner girl, and what she would desire in this season of life,” says Erica.
Her advice to prospective coaches is simple: just commit and sign up. And that’s exactly what Caribou Coffee General Manager Maren Weber did.
To Maren, the partnership between Girls on the Run and Caribou Coffee is a natural fit, with shared emphasis on connection, joy and love. That’s why she’s volunteering as a Girls on the Run coach for the first time this season. “I was lucky to be involved in organizations as a young person that had similar values and positive adult role models, and am looking forward to giving back,” says Maren.
“The site coordinator and Girls on the Run staff have been incredibly warm and helpful…I’m excited to build relationships in my community and support the participants. It’s exciting to feel the culture and passion.”
But if coaching isn’t your thing, there are other ways to support Girls on the Run and their mission. “Buying Amy’s Blend is a super easy way to support Girls on the Run,” says Maren. “And you get to enjoy an awesome cup of coffee at home.”
Coffee for a cause
Our guests, too, have embraced this partnership with open arms, buying our beloved Amy’s Blend coffee and making donations to help Girls on the Run reach even more young women.
Amy’s Blend is a specially curated blend of Caribou Coffee that pays tribute to our original roastmaster, Amy Erickson. Amy was a passionate leader who used her platform to develop quality practices and standards of coffee excellence at Caribou. She was a trailblazer in her industry and in life, and we honor her legacy with our coffee and partnership with Girls on the Run—to empower the next generation of strong leaders just like her.
“Funding from Amy’s Blend supports national initiatives that allows Girls on the Run to stay relevant and engaging for everyone involved while also helping to eliminate any barriers to participation,” says Girls on the Run Director of Development, Christina Traband.
Participants in Girls on the Run learn essential life skills from caring coaches such as how to build confidence, make connections with others and how to give back to their community. Life skills that participants learn can be used in their daily lives as well as extend past their time in the program.
“My cup overflows (pun intended!) with joy knowing that guests are supporting the mission of Girls on the Run through their purchase of Amy’s Blend,” says Christina. “I feel that every purchase brings our communities closer together and that it is supporting something much larger than one person and/or one community. My hope is that our communities continue to grow together in support of something so much larger than what we can do alone.”
Celebrating Amy’s legacy
Caribou Coffee’s Brand Activation Manager Lyndsey Boggs agrees.
“We often say doing good is in our DNA, which is why we have naturally gravitated towards supporting the communities we call home and engaging in meaningful and purpose-driven partnerships,” says Lyndsey.
Every year, our teams look forward to the day when Amy’s Blend hits our shelves because it is a time when we can all rally together for a cause (and a coffee) that matters. “Amy’s Blend has always had a purpose at Caribou Coffee but our partnership with Girls on the Run has further infused Amy’s spirit into our culture and team members.”
This year, Amy’s Blend hits the shelves in Caribou Coffee coffeehouses on April 6—but guests can buy pre-sale online starting April 3.
So as we sip our coffee and hit the pavement, let’s remember that we’re supporting the girls who will follow in Amy’s footsteps—empowering the next generation of leaders one sip and step at a time.