On the weekend I participated in the Urban Polaris. which is a 7 hour Mountain Biking Orienteering type event. It was a long hard slog, on a hot, windy Canberra day and we covered 100kms. I was a broken man by the end!
While it isn't run as a vehicle for people to raise money for charities it is however run in aid of the Mental Health Foundation ACT.
But I figured that I might be able to leverage my participation to help raise some money for Canteen. I am not entirely sure where I saw this but I found a link to a site called Every Day Hero which people can use to promote their own fundraising efforts.
Essentially the site allows you to choose a charity to raise money for (they have all of Australia's registered charities listed) and allows you to set up a blog, post photos and take donations with messages of support (while showing your progress towards your set target).
So I set up a page (check it out here), emailed my friends and family and thought that would be pretty much it apart from reminding people to donate. How wrong I was.
Next thing I know I get an email from Canteen thanking me for my efforts in raising money and that they would send me a fundraising pack. They also wanted to know what size shirt my team mate and I were so that they could send us some Canteen branded shirts to wear on our ride.
I thought they would send us some pretty basic cotton, ill-fitting t-shirts to wear and to be honest I thought we probably wouldn't end up wearing them. How wrong I was again (that's twice now for those scoring at home).
I got the shirts in the post pronto and I opened the mail to be shocked that they were actually really good quality Industrie brand shirts that were made out of great material for riding in. Only problem was that they were lime green! I wasn't too keen on that and thought they would look a bit stupid ... yes you guessed it ... I was wrong again! (three strikes and your out!).
We looked great in the shirts and looked like much more of a team than the other riders. We got lots of great comments from people and it was easy to spot each other if we got separated.
Here's a photo of my recovering after the finish ...
Absolutely brilliant move to connect with fundraisers through the Every Day Hero web site and offer then some support in their efforts. It made my team mate and I feel so much more a part of Canteen and that our efforts were appreciated (not that we ever doubted they were).
We initially set a target of $1000 and when we hit that target we got a nice email from Canteen congratulating us on reaching our target. We were pretty chuffed but we pressed on and increased our target to $2000.
We ended up raising $1605 in online donations and another $250 in promised or cash donations.
So if you know anyone that wants to rise money for a charity then make sure you tell them about the Every Day Hero website as it is a great use of the net, blogs and connecting people for great causes.
Off to have another spa to sooth my aching legs.
oh, I almost forgot ... an update on last weeks post. I didn't hear anything from Hawthorn so I emailed them on Thursday asking if they got my email. I just got a response today that said "Thank-you for you e-mail Daniel. I have forwarded your e-mail to our communications department."
I haven't give up ...