Idara Otu
2 min readFeb 4, 2021


“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”

Maya Angelou

With the kids at Spreading Love Mission Orphanage Home in Ukanafun, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

It’s universally accepted that 2020 was an acutely difficult year. Unprecedented in more ways than one, the prevailing theme of course was the pandemic.

Daily 7PM claps for first responders,

People hoarding toilet paper,

Fights with mask vs anti-maskers,

Closed boarders,

And cancellations,

We were pushed to the brink financially, emotionally, and spiritually. As Leader of charity, Let Girls Read, Run, Grow, we were disappointed to have to cancel our plans for two SPORT X STEAM Camps, the inaugural version only launched months before the pandemic hit.

Still desiring to assist in whatever way we could, several calls, dollars, and donations later, we were able to pivot into a new direction I am equally proud of.

Still in touch with many of the student-athletes who attended our camp in 2019, we knew their families were struggling. A 7-month federally-mandated lockdown meant, no school, no sports, and for many parents, no money. Hardest hit by all, were the children with no parents. The economic fall out suffered really hurt orphanages that rely on church and personal donations to survive.

So, we decided our focus in 2020 was to get back to basics. To get the student-athletes back to what they loved the most — and opportunity to play AND learn.

With our tribe of donors, we were able to execute a COVID Relief Giving program that resulted in:

- 57 academic scholarships for the 2020–2021 academic school year

- 40 pairs of brand-new athletic shoes distributed to student-athletes

- 20 athletic balls (soccer & basketball) distributed to local sports teams

- 100lbs of school supplies to two (2) orphanages

- Food supplies to feed 50+ orphans for several months

As the person that distributed our giving live, I was overwhelmed by the gratitude of those we touched. For several students, our scholarship is the only thing keeping them in school this academic year. At 10 years old, an education should not be a luxury, and I am glad we were able to facilitate this for so many this school year.

If you have 3 minutes to spare, please have a look for yourself.



Idara Otu

Founder & Board Chair — Let Girls Read, Run, Grow