Friday, 9 October 2015

Me Again!!

Well Hi:

Some of you know that I have conspicuously absent for a while.  Now I am back with a vengeance.  I started a blog post that ran into 2.  So this story is followed by a related gab session.  Take your time. 

Over the past few months, I have been embarrassingly lucky.  Our hospital raises funds by employee fundraising.  We have a 50/50  draw and I have won, TWICE.  People congratulate me, but I think they are rolling their eyes, understandably.  My windfall has been used for very frivolous purchases.  We now have a new washer/dryer and sadly that makes me happy.  Oh and it also paid to get my car out of the pound, when it was towed from a nearby parking lot.  So I guess I am not all that lucky all the time. 

This windfall has made me think more deeply about the role of fundraising.  Instead of just taking the money and running, I have felt I would like to give back a bit.  There are so many worthy causes.  It can be hard to decide where I would focus my efforts.  I have done a couple of Walk-a-thons.  It is a nice way to spend a day, walking with friends and breathing in the excitement.  The downside is that I must hit my friends and family for donations.  I have trouble selling a raffle ticket, but I am embracing this new passion.  "Me Again" It starts with the odd Facebook request.  Then the personal emails start.  "Oh God, here she goes.  She is at it again."  My supporters now actually pay me to get off my butt.  I find though that after a few walks, my coworkers try not to make eye contact and I am no longer invited to parties in case I show up with an agenda and a rope.

It seems weird to me that at this stage of my life, I have embraced fundraising.  There was a time, as many of you know or remember, that as a parent of a school-aged child, a great deal of effort was supposed to be spent raising money for many worthy causes.  The problem was that hitting up friends and family to sponsor my children was very uncomfortable, partly due to the frequency of events when one has 3 children.  I just accepted, after a while, that I could not compete with the families who seemed to raise tons of money through the sale of the item of the week.  They put us to shame.   My children often seemed disappointed in my lackadaisical attitude. I spent many hours of their childhood feeling badly about our lack of support, while I read Chatelaine and ate apples and boxes  of chocolate covered almonds. 

I remember vividly, Kate at about 6 years old, trying desperately to carry a huge boom box home,
after her fundraising dance-a- thon.  She was so excited to be the winner of such a great prize.  She didn't even listen to music yet, but she knew this was something special.  This was an early glimpse of the benefits of fundraising.

 My recent experience with fundraising was the CIBC Run for the Cure.  Some of you sponsored me and I thank you for your generosity.  I felt I was paid well to walk for 5 km.  My weekend included a dinner out with my girls and breakfast with my son after the walk.  Breakfast included a mimosa and the afternoon was just
one big nap.  I mean really,  I may appear altruistic, but really, I just loved the outing.

 The atmosphere at the run/walk was mind-blowing.  So many people.  So much pink.  Without judgment I note that the majority of participants were women, but there were a significant number of men dressed in rosy boas. However, I still plan to lobby for an open door policy on the men's washrooms.  There were young and old alike.  Many breast cancer survivors were gratefully participating. Everyone was walking for someone. There was excitement, joy and sadness all rolled up into a glorious Sunday morning with sun shining and just enough of a breeze so I didn't even break a sweat.  It was a great day.  What's next?  Where do I sign up?

At this point though, it may be time to hang up my Go Walk sneakers for a bit. I will take my turn and give support to friends and families and their worthy causes.  We all have vulnerabilities.  We all have our causes. We all hold some kind of rope.  Supporting each other in our particular struggles is what opens our eyes to the plight of others.  We get to walk a day in another's shoes.  I will continue to train for next year.  I need to keep in shape.  I may just pull out the old boom box and hold my own personal dance-a -thon in my kitchen while gorging on Girl Guide cookies.  Never let it be said I didn't do my part.

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