Three and half months ago I was reading Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s blog post about her commitment to the PWA Toronto to Montreal Bike Rally and it set me thinking about how I could contribute beyond a single donation of an amount I could afford. I set myself the challenge of fundraising over the 12 week run up to the Rally in the hope of raising an average of £20 a week or £240 in total.
Well the time has passed and whilst I didn’t come up with a different fundraising idea each week, the total was reached thanks to the generosity of people in my own community and the wider knitting community. That 12 weeks saw craft sales, rhubarb and fudge sales, the sale of long forgotten books, de-stashing yarn and buttons and a mammoth stitch marker making and selling challenge. Well making over 400 stitch markers was the mammoth bit, selling them was the easy bit as it turned out, despite it being the thing I was most nervous about.
In total £295.92 was raised, which converts to $565.20 CAD. I must admit that I was particularly pleased when we reached the $500 point. When you are donating, the PWA donation page lists different donation levels and indicates what that would pay for. Whilst, donations are spent where there is need, I do think these lists are interesting in demonstrating what it actually costs to deliver their services.
- $1500 pays for monthly dairy and protein staples
- $500 supports HIV peer led program
- $250 pays for living costs during transitions
- $200 pays for senior dental optical care
- $150 pays for uninsured dental expenses
- $100 pays for uninsured medical expenses
- $75 pays for 1 year of therapeutic treatments
So our $500 could cover the cost of a peer led programme. In my work in the drug and alcohol field I’ve seen over a number of years, just how powerful peer led programmes are. How well supported and trained peers can provide support in a way that staff who have not been through the same experience can’t, no matter how skilled and committed they are. I’ve witnessed how clients trust in their peers when they trust few others, and when they are at their lowest. I’ve also seen how people who have accessed service at their most desperate have developed and grown through the support they have been able to offer others. It’s difficult to explain but it’s all too clear to see when it works well. I’m thrilled that we’ve raised enough to be able to support such a program, even if our donation does end up having to meet other priorities.
I did have another fundraiser planned but life and work got in the way of that and it just didn’t come together in time. However, I’ve now seen that Stephanie has signed up for next year’s Rally, and the fundraising for next year has already begun, so maybe it’s not too late for that idea after all.
So thank you so much to everyone who was part of this mini fundraising effort:
Anna, Debbie, Susan, Gavin, Dorothy, Roy, Charlie, Dennis, Paolo, Miranda, Shirley, Lisa, Liz, Chris, Dale, Nic, Hilary, Pippa, Jacky, Kate, Caroline, Jane, Esme, Annie, Andrea, Gillian, Jo, Sarah, Ann, and Lucy.
Now I’m on holiday for a couple of weeks which at the moment means trying to keep cool and keep the mosquitos at bay. Spider has the right idea on the first front.