This profile was published as part of #GivingTuesday's #WomenWhoGive series, which celebrates women who give back in their communities.

Elyse Braner is the Board Secretary of Girls on the Run-DC.  Read the interview below to learn more about what inspires Elyse to give.


Q1: How do you give back?

I am a long-time coach of the Girls on the Run-DC program, but I also understand to continue our work in the community, we need the financial support as well.  I make the personal contributions that I am able.  I also participate in Girls on the Run’s Solemates program, which is a run for a cause program, so I run a marathon every year to raise money for the program.  I also recruit others to participate in the program and fundraise for the valuable community program.  I think it is important to give my time, but to also make sure the non-profit I volunteer with is supported financially as well.

Q2:  What inspired you to start giving?

My passion for the program and the work that Girls on the Run-DC does.  I started volunteering as a Coach when I was in my early 20’s and I have seen the impact that the program does for girls that live in my neighborhood and community.  Real change starts in your neighborhood and with our youth.  If we can teach these girls at a young age to grow up to be confident and strong, and to arm then with much needed life skills, they will be the ones to change our world… they are our future.

Q3:  What does giving mean to you?  Why do you continue to give your time, talents, money, or more to your community?

We have a responsibility to use our gifts to make our communities a better place.  No act of kindness or giving back is too small.  

Q4: What would you tell others who are looking to start giving back?  Share a  piece of advice will help them get started.

Find an organization with a mission that inspires you.  Find something that you are passionate about and you will want to give your time and money.  I am incredibly passionate about running and sharing my passion for running, so Girls on the Run has been a perfect fit and I am excited to talk about and be a part of it.

Q5:  Please share a favorite moment or story from when you volunteered or donated to an organization.

This past Girls on the Run Season on the first day of practice, one of our 3rd graders tripped and fell during the run and her shoe came off.  Her shoe was stuffed with tissues because they were hand me down shoes that were too big, and her family was not able to provide her with new shoes.  Because of the support of our donors, GOTR was able to provide her with new shoes and a scholarship to participate in this developmental program.  She proudly wore those pink sneakers every day.