Admittedly, when this whole running adventure took off, “Giving Back” wasn’t part of the equation. It wasn’t a selfish thing, but it just wasn’t something we’d thought of, to be honest. With more thought of what we were trying to accomplish, it really felt like we were trying to do something big and if we could do that, then it could be the kind of thing where we could do some good and “Give Back.”
We honestly and truthfully had no idea what we were doing in that first year. The hope, really was to set a goal, promote it as best we could, and see where it goes. Ever pessimisstic about it, we didn’t think we’d hit the goal but the fact that our team had 12 people on it, we thought that if we came up $500 short of that $1,000 goal, $50 or so wouldn’t be too much for us to spread around.
In reality, when we started this whole thing, we effectively tossed a stone and created a ripples upon ripples.
When you more than double a goal that you really didn’t beleive you’d ever hit, it’s a great feeling but it also creates more ripples and “what ifs” that flutter about your mind like, “if we could raise $2,000, what would it take to hit $3,000 or $4,000?” Or, “what if we saved more on the operations’ side and could give that to the fundraiser, how much higher could that push the total?” Or, “do you think we can get sponsors and really cut down on expenses?”
It all becomes a wonderful snowball that takes on a life of its own. We never planned on this and so it really has changed from “Why…..Give Back?” to “Why….Continue to Give Back?”
When you realize that the average childrens’ book to be around $7 and we ended up raising about $16,000 for Kate’s Kart, that’s almost 2300 books that we essentially helped fund that went to hospitalized kids. When you consider that nearly $7500 for NeighborLink turned into 5 furnaces fixed or replaced right before the coldest temps of the year hit in early ’20 before the world went crazy, it is a wonderful feeling to have.
But it’s not about good feelings, it’s about supporting those that are doing the good deeds. The things that organizations, like Kate’s Kart and NeighborLink Fort Wayne, do are special and we’re not able to do those things. We’re not that specialized but we are willing to do some things like running 200 miles from Madison to Chicago to benefit a great organization and people have, so far, responded to our brand of philanthropic craziness. We’re just a conduit of support for these organizations who are doing the actual good within the community and that’s what this is all about. If we succeed, then ultimately, it helps them succeed.
We never planned for any of this but somewhere an idea was cast and for more than 6 years now all sorts of ripples have come of it