Yohannes and Keleme were born and lived much of their lives in Ethiopia, Africa. When they immigrated to Minnesota as adults, winter was a harsh reality. “My very first winter in Minnesota was bad and tough. I was complaining about how many layers I needed to keep me warm and thought it was not the right place to live in the winter time.” They had three young girls and were struggling during winter, which was colder and longer than they expected. They didn’t know how to enjoy being outside in the winter and were scared of the cold.
At a preschool conference, Keleme shared her fear of winter and her struggle to get her daughters outside. The teacher suggested they join MyXC SkiSparks. The family registered and received a scholarship for the club membership and rental skis.
This winter is the family’s 4th year in SkiSparks. Zema (2nd grade), Belen (1st grade) and Wongel (kindergarten) enthusiastically participate. The entire family learned how to be outside in the winter, enjoying the bright blue sky, bright sun and brisk temperatures. “After we involved our girls in MyXC our family life in winter time got more active, fun, and warm. It makes the winter time short!”
This season, MyXC is helping Keleme and Yohannes get skis for themselves so they can ski along with their daughters. This family that once feared winter, now cheers when the snowflakes arrive, feeling confident to get outside, be active and embrace winter.
Your gift gives Zema, Belen and Wongel the opportunity to become confident skiers and outdoor winter enthusiasts. You give children the gift of having fun outside and empower families to embrace winter. Donate today and give more families a place to thrive outdoors.
"Through MYSL, I learned not only how to ski, but how much fun I could have while outside in the winter! I learned that playing tag on skis was incredibly funny, and I loved logging the kilometers I skied to see how far I could go every winter....My family and I loved being part of the MYSL. I had so much fun learning how to ski and making friends on the trails, and I hope that you do, too!"
~Jessie Diggins, Olympic Gold Medalist
We are leaders in the XC ski community, committed to teaching kids and their families how to ski and embrace winter. This year we will get our glitter on and cheer for Olympic Gold Medalist Jessie Diggins, a MYSL alumnus, at the World Cup in Minneapolis. We are committed not only to growing the sport of cross country skiing, but also to bring more joy to winter.
An exciting thing is happening to our organization, it's growing! We have over 3000 kids in our 48 clubs and rent over 1000 sets of skis to kids throughout the region.
Will you help kids have fun in the winter and learn a healthy lifestyle? Together we can build community, healthy kids, and lifelong skiers.
Every contribution helps and brings more joy, and skiing, to kids in the winter.