Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Runners World Hood to Coast Relay Contest Win - My Thanks

This would be why my Twitter feed was crazy yesterday!
 My Twitter feed yesterday was blowing up, and I wanted to thank everyone who has congratulated me. Here's the details behind the amazing experience of a lifetime that has been the last couple weeks and will again be that August 26-27, 2011!

So when Runners World tweeted June 13 about doing a push for people to fundraise for cancer organizations, I looked into it.

I signed up because
1) I hadn't fundraised for a specific cause since raising about $4000 for Susan G. Komen for the 3-Day Walk in 2005, and
2) I thought that I would do it for 2 weeks to test the waters for possibly a larger fundraising campaign for a specific event in the future. I felt like I had a pretty broad network - but a broad network doesn't mean a close network.

I looked through all the charities and chose the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. I researched them on Charity Navigator and liked what I saw. It was important to me that it be a significant organization but still a small-funded non-profit and that a high percentage went straight to the cause.

I noticed the Runners World Outrunning Cancer contest connected to this that the top fundraiser by June 30 would win a spot on the Runners World team with Bart Yasso for the Hood to Coast Relay race in August. However, this is Runners World we're talking about. Their reach is far and mighty. I expected hundreds would be fundraising.

During the first week, it was a chance to see the openness of my friends to donate for a cause I cared about. When after a week I was like the 5th highest fundraiser, I actually started to get excited about the Hood to Coast Relay contest because I realized there was actually a chance at being top fundraiser. I was baffled, and saddened, that there weren't the 100s fundraising I had expected.

When June 30, through my personal fundraiser, $1475 had been donated to the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Since I did pick a smaller non-profit, I'm so excited for them, hoping this money can go far for helping Bear Necessities mission to eliminate pediatric cancer and provide hope and support for those who are touched by it!

The next day I found out that I was the top fundraiser and was getting the spot on the Hood to Coast team. I was elated.  Then I had to sit on it for 12 days until they announced it yesterday!

THANK YOU to everyone for their cheers and congratulations across Twitter yesterday. I promise to take lots of pictures, tweet and Facebook status the weekend through, and blog it up afterwards. August 26-27: it will be here before I can even blink. BUT... you can still donate to the cause as well. The fundraising page is always up and Bear Necessities would be happy for your 5 minutes it takes to donate and the $20 from your wallet that can change lives. Donate here...

THANK YOU to Runner's World for promoting charity for others through their Outrunning Cancer campaign on Crowdrise! And for the prizes you have put into the campaign, both for donors and for the fundraisers. I am so appreciative of the once-in-a-lifetime experience you have afforded me to get to participate in the Hood to Coast Relay and with what will be memorable teammates!

THANK YOU to all the wonderful friends that donated. And in terms of fundraising for a charity for a specific race in the future, I learned a lot.
  • Random people can surprise you. Wonderful folks, like @LifeisaRun and @elletizol, who I have never even met, we're just twitter friends. Yet they took several minutes out of their day to take a little from their wallet to help these kids. Your gesture touched me immensely.
  • Runners get hit up for donations a lot, and pay-it-forward doesn't always happen. I'm pretty good about donating when friends personally ask for their fundraising campaign to be able to go do a specific event, but life gets busy or circumstances change, and those aren't always the donors you then get yourself. Good mental note!
  • The people you consider your very best friends can surprise you. A couple people who I would consider some of my closest friends surprised me by not donating, even with repeated requests. A note for others: donating $10 to a good friend's chosen cause leaves a much different taste in their mouth than not donating at all. It's not completely about the donation amount, it's about making it a small priority for such a small time commitment to make the donation. To those friends, I still love you, but it definitely threw me for a loop.
So again, this charity Bear Necessities is always accepting donations, and you can donate NOW. Have a different favorite charity? Since they are on your mind now, 5 minutes to make a quick $20 donation on their online donation website would be a great thing to do right now! We can all give $20 - it's a week of Starbucks, or a week of bringing lunch to work instead of going out.

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