Wow, $3200, is a lot of money. I have never raised money before and was already feeling bad for asking for money, even though I didn't even start asking yet. How does one do this is today's world. Things are tight everywhere. This just isn't a good time to bug people. But really, is it ever a good time to ask for money? I am guessing no.
You all know why I am doing this. I want to support my friend Shawna and her family. I want to honor the memory of her daughter, Haley. This cause is way bigger than my fear of running 13.1 miles and raising $3200. In fact, my fears are silly compared to having to live without one of your children. I want to make a difference.
When you sign up with TNT, you get a folder filled with all kinds of ideas on how to raise money. The night I came home with that folder, I sat down and looked at it all and felt extremely overwhelmed. Ok, calm down, you can do this.
The next day, after a good nights sleep, I sat at the computer to compose my letter that would be sent out to my family and friends. I am not going to lie to you, this took me 3 days to compose. To put into words, my feelings about my friendship with Shawna, her losing her daughter and how I was going to run my first half marathon so far away from my family, was almost impossible. Almost.
When it was written and I figured out how to include Haley's picture, (almost another 3 days, LOL) I felt relived. According to TNT most of your donations will come from these letters, so make it good. I felt good when I hit save and print.
Within the first week of this journey, my letters were in the mail. Now what?
I had to come up with a fundraising idea. I came up with more than I thought I would, some good, some bad. Then I remembered a Virtual Race that I participated in this past December. It was a race to raise money for the same charity as me, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. A virtual race is a race that you can do from anywhere. You can run outside or inside on a treadmill. You can be registered for an official race and that would still count. I pick the date, you pick the where and time of day.
After a few days, I had in place the Run Strong, Think Big Virtual 5k Run/Walk. I chose a date and set up a FB page for the event. I will be ordering medals for all finishers with the name of the race on them. This will be happening this weekend and there is still time to sign up. As of right now, there are 45 people signed up in four different countries. Those runners have brought in $1075 so far! Thank you does not seem like enough but, Thank You!
As back up, I looked in to other things to raise money, including a tupperware party. On one of our early morning runs, I mentioned this to Ethel. A Tupperware party did not thrill her. The next time I saw her she said she was planning a fundraiser for me, at her home with different vendors that will be donating some of their profits to me. What? That is awesome!
And let me tell you, this past Thursday, at Ethel's, was one of the most fun evenings I have had in a long time. There were five different vendors there, a make your own jewelry station, raffles and all drinks were $2.
|Mingle while shopping.|
|Sweet Lu Photography|
|Make your own jewelry station.|
She had invited friends and neighbors and the generosity of others humbles me. She put on a fabulous party and the outcome was huge. I am happy to say that once the checks clear, I will have reached my goal plus a little more. I am not ashamed to say, that I have tears in my eyes writing this.
You just never know how what you are doing may affect others. I have met people who have survived cancer and people who have lost someone they love. One of Ethel's neighbors, Rebecca, is a Leukemia survivor and has been for the last 17 years. She said to me, "Thank you for doing this, it means so much to me." Really, no, thank you for inspiring me to be a better person, for working towards something that is bigger than me, for doing my best to make a difference in someone else's life, for finding my strong when I think I have no more to give.
My financial goal is met, but I hope that does not stop you from still donating. Every dollar is a blessing and will make a difference in someones life. I hope you will still consider a donation or signing on for my Virtual Race.
I would like to say thank you again, to those of you who have supported me so far. Those of you who have donated, those of you who are racing with me this coming weekend. Ethel, for such a fun evening that exceeded my expectations. The vendors and contributors for the raffle. My friends who I miss because I am running instead of going to the playground or beach. My parents, who have bugged their friends and co-workers. My readers for your encouraging words. And mostly, Mr. RWM and my two little angels. You have put up with my non stop talking about running and fundraising, my early mornings and time away from you while I run for 2 hours and then have to sit and ice. Your patience is unbelievable and so very appreciated. You just have to put up with it for 89 more days.
This continues to be an amazing journey and with each day, I get more excited to be at the start line in San Francisco.
Run Strong, Think Big!