Tween girls miss their friends, and a faith-based nonprofit is working to help.
The Christian, Grand Rapids-based global nonprofit GEMS Girls’ Club is reaching out to connect girls ages 9-12 who are missing in-person friendships during COVID-19 through GEMS on the Go (GOTG), a website and Instagram community launched this week.
GOTG connects middle school girls to “fun, friendship and faith” through activities and encouragement for their emotional and spiritual needs, while also providing resources to parents.
GOTG was created as GEMS clubs in North America and around the world were forced to end early due to worldwide quarantining. As clubs closed and girls were distanced from friends and relationships, GEMS saw the need to bring the club experience to all girls, not just those enrolled in their program.
“At GEMS, we believe every girl is loved and has purpose. Girls were already dealing with an epidemic of loneliness before COVID-19, and the pandemic only increases the stresses girls were facing,” said Cindy Bultema, executive director of GEMS Girls’ Clubs. “GEMS has a history of providing girls with safe and fun ways to grow emotionally and spiritually. We are using our experience to provide the same tools, in a new way, to all girls. If girls can’t come to our clubs, we’ll bring our club experience to them.”
GEMS also hopes GOTG will encourage girls to “sprinkle love like confetti,” a phrase the organization has coined to help girls reach out and serve their communities, especially during hard times.
GOTG is providing “age-appropriate, relevant games, activities, recipes and even badge experience opportunities.”
There is no cost to access GOTG.
GEMS Girls’ Clubs
GEMS stands for Girls Everywhere Meeting the Savior. GEMS welcomes girls of all backgrounds into a safe and nurturing environment to learn and grow. Clubs are offered in local churches and Christian organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada and 15 other countries.