Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oops, I Did It Again

Yes, I am running the Boston Marathon-again. I know, I know-I said over and over how hard fundraising was. I said it was easier to train for 26.2 miles than to raise money. So then, why the heck am I doing it again? Here's why:

I haven't stopped thinking about the marathon. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the entire experience-the expo, the race itself, the crowds, the feeling of complete and utter accomplishment. I also think about how I asked a volunteer if I could sit down in the wheelchair for just a minute because I hadn't sat for 5 hours. But I quickly stop thinking about that.

My marathon jacket hangs on the back of the chair I sit in every day. The background on my work computer is a collage of marathon pictures. And since my basement is not finished yet (going on 8 years, but who's counting?), I have no place to hang my shadowbox filled with my bib, my medal and my timing chip-so every day, someone inevitably knocks it over and I yell, "Be careful! That's important to me!"

I was on the fence for signing up just because of the stress of fundraising. I had exhausted my friend's bank accounts, and I'm pretty sure at least 20 people "defriended" me on Facebook because they were tired of hearing about it. But when the Facebook post came that read, "GoKids Boston team is full" my heart sank. This is the last year GoKids Boston is eligible to be a charity for the marathon and I really thought I lost my last chance. I decided to apply just in case there was an opening, figuring this would be a sign that it was meant to be-and sure enough it came through!!

Ok, so now that I am running again, I've committed to raising $3700. I completely understand I have tapped out all of my friends last time. But I also know many people have asked if there are other ways to help. So in conjunction with some friends and family members, we have brainstormed a list of ways people can help, if a direct donation is not possible. And remember, brainstorming is a judgement free zone, so no poo-pooing any of the suggestions!

1. Show support! Ask me how training is going, how much money I have raised, etc. If you have a fundraising idea, I want to hear it! This little step is what got me through last time. When you are tired and overwhelmed, having someone ask about what is going on is often just what you need to get your spring back in your step. To know people are thinking about me and my journey is important to me. So please send well wishes!
2. Attend events. Sure you are still spending $, but you are getting a direct benefit from it, such as a tasty dinner or a Pampered Chef item. If you are going to dine out or buy cooking supplies anyway, you can do it through me AND support my charity!
3. Provide any leads you may have. Do you work somewhere that might be willing to donate merchandise or a gift certificate for me to raffle off? Do you know of a restaurant owner who would help me hold a fundraiser? Are you a business owner and would like to provide me with something to raffle off? All of this is SUPER helpful!
4. Showcase your talents! Are you crafty? Do you knit, make jewelry or can stamp 50 greeting cards in less than 5 minutes? (is that even physically possible?) All of these things make GREAT raffle items and I'd love anything to raffle off. I especially like them because I love homemade stuff myself :) (Wait, I'm not going to keep the stuff myself, I swear.)
5. Spread the world about my fundraising. I'm sure many strangers aren't going to be overwhelmed by my story and donate to my cause. But if you post on FB there is a fundraiser at Friendly's Monday night, someone who may already be planning a night out may choose this restaurant over another.
6. Hold a party and donate the hostess credit. Ok, this one's a stretch, but you never know. Many at-home parties are willing to give the hostess money towards a charity verses hostess dollars or rewards. I know Pampered Chef does it, as well as Silpada. Don't like having the actual party at your house? Host a catalog party! I'm also happy to "give back" so if you or a friend works for an at-home party catalog, contact me! I'd rather use a consultant I "know" verses someone I don't.
7. Make a direct donation. I know, I said this was a list about NOT making a direct donation, but when it comes down to it, it's easy and involves little work on the part of the donor. So for those of you that can directly donate, I thank you!

Once again, I really, really appreciate everyone's support. I keep reminding myself its not the destination, but the journey!
Keep the fundraising ideas coming!!

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