Nobody cares if you're not a good dancer. Just get up and dance. The same holds true for racing. Whether first or last, we all cross that same finish line. Just get out there and run.
- Dean Karnazes

Monday, February 17, 2014

It's The Final Countdown!

Nothing says it quite as poignantly as the hit "The Final Countdown", it is less than a week until I go to Disney World and complete the Glass Slipper Challenge. I am so excited, I can hardly stand it, but I am also a little nervous but I am usually a little nervous before my half marathons. I know I will finish and be fine, but I can't help but be just a little nervous, 19.3 miles over two days is nothing to scoff at. More importantly, I want to make sure that I make the rest of the Give Kids The World team (aka- The Dots) proud. Now to drink another glass of water and get to bed, the only problem is that this is kind of how I am feeling....

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Things You Learn While Fundraising

If somehow you happened to miss that I was doing some fundraising, I have been raising money for Give Kids The World. They are a wish-fulfilling retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The children and their families are treated a weeklong, fantasy vacations in Central Florida, complete with accommodations in the Village's whimsical villas, transportation, attraction tickets, meals and much more, all of this is at no cost to the families. It allows the families to spend precious time together, and the children a chance to smile, laugh and forget about doctors and hospitals. 

I am running the Glass Slipper challenge at the Disney Princess Half Marathon for Give Kids The World. My goal was to raise $3000 for this incredible organization so that they can keep fulfilling the wishes of these deserving children and their families. When I signed up, I did it because a friend and fellow blogger stayed at the village during her daughter's Wish trip. I also was fortunate enough to meet the incredible Bartlinski family on my last visit to Disney World, who shared the story of their beautiful angel Teresa and whom had stayed at the Village for Teresa's Wish trip. I wanted to help Give Kids The World fulfill the wishes of more deserving children. Little did I know that fundraising would teach me a whole lot more. 

Things I learned while fundraising (in bullet points because I like those things)

  • Let's start with the obvious, fundraising is HARD WORK. I knew it would be difficult but had no idea just how much would go into raising every single dollar. 
  • I learned a lot about Give Kids The World, their history, their work and about some of the families who have stayed at GKTW. 
  • I will definitely be taking the family to volunteer on future visits to Disney World. 
  • Running is often a selfish endeavor, and running for Give Kids The World really does make the miles mean a whole lot more. 
  • It served as a reminder that everyone you meet has a story and some are carrying worries, pains and sadness you may never know about. 
  • It also served as a reminder that the world does not revolve around me and my problems.
  • Not every fundraiser is going to pan out the way you planned, case in point, my gift wrapping fundraiser. I sat at Books-A-Million for hours and only raised $14, it was disappointing and heart breaking.
  • Not every person you know will donate to your cause, I know this seems obvious but somehow this one surprised me. 
  • To expand on the previous point, not everyone you know will care or understand about the charity you are fundraising for. Again, seems obvious but it too surprised me, I guess I am really naive. 
  • All that said, some people will really surprise you in both good and bad ways. People who you would never in a million years expect to help you out, and people who you were sure would help, simply don't. 
  • I learned about putting myself out there, asking for help with fundraising was definitely out of my comfort zone.
  • If you choose to fundraise, it's important to make it known. Get ready to share your story with everyone, even the lady in front of you in line at the checkout.
  • I wasn't even kidding about the checkout lady, I really did tell a lady at the supermarket. 
  • Most importantly, I learned about the impact that Give Kids The World has on the children and families who stay there. An impact goes beyond the week they spend at the Village. Check out the story GMA did on Give Kids The World, and watch the videos (don't forget your tissues in case you are allergic to feelings like I am). GMA Give Kids The World Story.
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