Begging for Donations
In 15 days I will finally squeeze my body into my new bikini and jump in the freezing cold waters of Lake Champlain. You’ve seen pictures of my past plunges & you’ve read my tips & tricks. Now I want to tell you WHY I do this event every year. In case you’ve forgotten, this event raises money for Vermont Special Olympics. This charity has been near & dear to my heart for as long as I can remember, and for more than one reason.
Reason number one? BDNF’s brother was a Special Olympian. I’d known Bo as long as BDNF which means pretty much my whole life. When Bo was 8, he & his mom travelled halfway across the world from Vermont to Austria so he could compete in Speed Skating. He was the youngest member of Team USA and came home with several medals in bronze, silver and gold! He & BDNF were active in Special Olympics for many years. He was really the first person I knew who could benefit from a charity. This definitely had a lasting effect.
Because this was probably the first charity I knew of, it’s the first thing I ever raised money for. (Beware: there is some serious nerdiness/goodie two shoes coming up in this story.) I decided to put on a show in my backyard to raise money for Vermont Special Olympics. My sister and I had one of those swingsets – you know the ones. Two swings, a slide, monkey bars, rings, trapeze thingie. Like this
I gathered all the neighborhood kids, my boom box and a strobe light. We choreographed dances & gymnastics and sold tickets for the neighbors to come and watch. We even held a bottle drive a few days prior to raise money to buy food & drinks for a concession stand. We spent weeks preparing. After all was said and done my father brought me to the Special Olympics Administrative Offices and I delivered them about $40 we had raised. I was proud. My parents were proud. The neighbors were impressed. I was such a nerd, but my love for giving was fueled by this experience.
Thirdly, I have been a member of the local Lions Club for almost 10 years. While I am currently on hiatus (for several reasons) I was actually involved with this group long before I actually became a member. My father joined in the last 1980’s and I would often tag a long to events such as pancake breakfasts & charity auctions helping out how I could. One year I helped make bagged lunches for Vermont Special Olympics Basketball Tournament that was held at St. Michael’s College. I was so taken aback by the sense of unity & cameraderie as well as the energy, excitement & enthusiasm from both the athletes as well as the volunteers & families. This event became something I looked forward to every year. Even after the tournament moved out of our town and to UVM, our club still made sure the participants were fed. In my first year as president of the club I attended the opening ceremonies so our club could be presented with an award of appreciation. This is when I first heard the Special Olympics Oath. And I was in tears. And hooked. This video doesn’t do it justice but it still brings tears of gratitude to my eyes
So when I got the opportunity to do something that would both raise money for one of my favorite causes and give me some mad street cred, I jumped on it. Or in it? Regardless, I am extremely proud to be a part of this event. I know with the help of my friends, my family & social media I can EASILY reach my goal of $1500. Will you please help me get there? All you have to do is click here. No donation is too small (or too big!). If each of my Twitter followers donated $1 I would be almost to my goal. That’s all it takes. Please share this post and my fundraising page with everyone you know. Every little bit helps!!! Thank you!! XO