Above and beyond: ‘Gratitude Gangstas’ spread goodwill

Submitted to Dorchester Banner/Girl Trekkers
Members of the Groove City Trekkers are reaching out to random neighbors this holiday season, spreading their message of goodwill. They are giving surprise gifts to folks they meet as they conduct their group fitness walks.

CAMBRIDGE — Fitness, healing and positive community spirit have caught up to the members of the Groove City Trekkers, and might catch up to you. The group’s Gratitude Gangstas are patrolling the streets of the city, giving unexpected gifts to neighbors they meet as they conduct their regular fitness activities.

“To kick off the holiday season, the Gratitude Gangstas are back,” a statement from the group said. “From Nov. 1-30, we will be randomly giving away gifts during our walks. If we roll up on you, don’t be startled, it’s your lucky day!”

The first lucky recipient was Ms. Helena, who was given a gift card to brighten her day.

The Groove City Trekkers were founded in the summer of 2017, part of a national movement of African-American women dedicated to promoting fitness and civil rights. They took their inspiration from the national movement GirlTrek, the largest public health non-profit organization for African-American women and girls in the United States.

“With nearly 100,000 neighborhood walkers, GirlTrek encourages women to use walking as a practical first step to inspire healthy living, families, and communities,” a statement from the group said. “As women organize walking teams, they mobilize community members to support monthly advocacy efforts and lead a civil rights-inspired health movement.”

Beyond walking, GirlTrek’s active members advocate an increase in physical activity through walking, improving access to safe places to walk, protecting and reclaiming green spaces, and improving the walkability and built environments of 50 high-need communities across the United States.

The Groove City Trekkers have taken part in numerous activities since their founding, giving many volunteer hours to assist in building a prosperous city. That work will continue through the fall.

“We will also be giving away a Thanksgiving basket one week prior to Thanksgiving with all necessities for a Thanksgiving dinner,” the statement said. “Stay tuned!”

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