Why We Walk: Fundraising Fundamentals for the NYCHC Unite Walk
by Shari Bender, 2020 Team Captain of Team AWESOME!!!!
In the Spring 1998, I was a young mom of a newly diagnosed baby girl with hemophilia. Things were stressful, to say the least. We were a one-income household and we watched our spending closely. In the fall of that year, my husband Stephen went to the annual National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) meeting in Florida to learn as much as possible to help our little family as we adjusted to life with a bleeding disorder.
I got a very excited call after the first night of the conference. My husband was inspired by hearing a community member speak about his hope and desire for a better future for those with bleeding disorders. Donald Colburn was asking for donations for the “It’s Time for a Cure” campaign, a fundraising initiative that boasted a ten-year timeline for a cure for hemophilia. That meant my daughter would have a cure in time for high school! I too was hooked. Then Stephen told me that he had pledged a large monetary gift.
I was shocked. He pledged a lot of our money, and it hurt. As is now evident, 10 years wasn’t a realistic timeline for finding a cure, but with all our help, I am hopeful a cure really can happen in the next decade.
Since 1998, my family and I have raised over $500,000 to help the bleeding disorder community. Though we have seen many things change over the past two decades, the fundamentals of fundraising remain the same. As you start fundraising for the 15th Annual United for Bleeding Disorder Walk in New York City, I encourage you to remember these key points:
- Start your fundraising with a personal donation. Give as generously as you can before approaching others. Remember, anyone who visits your Walk page can see your donation and will follow your lead.
- Give until it hurts. Would it hurt you to give $150? You might quickly say “yes” but if I ask to cut spending $5/day for a month, it might be doable.
- A donation doesn’t have to be large to be meaningful. When my kids were little, they gave $10 of their own saved birthday money to donate, and this was awesome.
If you are reading this, then someone you care about (or even yourself) has a bleeding disorder. Your financial sacrifice will help propel the momentum and ultimate success of the Unite Walk in New York City. I look forward to seeing you and your Walk Team on June 7th in Riverside Park!
Shari Bender is a member of the New York City Hemophilia Chapter Advisory Board and served as NYCHC’s first President. She is Communications and Marketing director for a large electrical firm on Long Island, where she lives with her husband and 3 furry friends. Shari is mom to two grown children, Rose and Joe- the lights of her life. You can find her musings regularly on Grown & Flown.