I was thinking the other day about the charity I raise money for while training for these triathlons, half marathons, and bike rides. If you follow me on Facebook you have seen me posting weekly asking for donations for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Time being what they are; donations to charity like this are hard to come by. We each, when we sign up to participate and raise money, commit to a certain amount. We then try to raise money to that level. What most people outside of this group don’t realize is that when we commit to this amount we are truly committed, meaning if we don’t meet the minimum level we have to make up the difference from our own pocket. This is not a small amount either. For the current bike event, as an example, it is close to $3,500. Normally I cannot make these numbers, or even get close to it, but the last few events have proven almost a futile effort. I can post about it on my page, through emails, through the fan page, and even through a couple of other member pages, and get a huge number of “likes” associated with it, but no donations.
So I guess this means the LIKE the fact that I am raising money and training for these events, but not enough to support it? Not sure what a “like” means in this situation.
It is interesting to me to hear what people come up with as a reason to not donate to a charity, even one such as this.
“The money doesn’t really go to the cause. It only goes in the pockets of the people running the charity”
Unfortunately this is true in many cases. There are many watchdog groups on the internet, though, that will tell you what to avoid and which one’s are truly making a difference. I would not be associated with a group that was not legitimate, and if I found out I as raising money for one like this, I would remove myself immediately. People make these blanket statements without doing the research to really find out. They will wear Livestrong gear, which is for cancer AWARENESS (needed true, but not exactly helping cure it), but not give to LLS who has a track record if funding research to the point where actually drugs have been developed entirely with Team in Training dollars.
“Money is just too tight right now”
Very true in many cases, but don’t tell me you can’t afford to donate $20 and walk in each morning carrying a Starbucks Mocha Frappacino Sugar Bomb which cost $7. If you don’t want to donate, don’t donate, but don’t give BS excuses.
I actually had a co-worker ask me once if I would donate to a cancer for someone he is close to. This person had a medical condition but he was not raising money for it, he was trying to make a point. My response to him was that was the difference between him and me. If he was raising money for this, I WOULD donate. As some know that read this, I donate to A LOT of issues. Because I believe in the good this does in the long run, but also because I believe that you support your friends, co-workers, and associates, when they try to do good work.
I buy Girl Scout Cookies even though I don’t eat them.
I buy band candy, football candy, wrapping paper, etc.
All kinds of crap I don’t even use, and then give it away, or in the case of the GS Cookies, give it right back to them and tell them to resell it. I enter charity races even if I can’t run the race.
I wonder also if it’s the Team in Training (TNT) moniker we use?
Non racers won’t have a clue about this, but this hit me during the Augusta Ironman in 2012. We were standing at the water exit surveying the course and got into a discussion with the course manager. Someone was coming out of the water wearing a TNT top. Of course, we respond with the cry “Go Team”. His response was to shake his head and say “yep, there they are, Team in Trouble”. I have seen/heard this from others also. At Flatwoods, the “elite” cyclist complaining about the TNT people being too slow, being in the way, etc. While I agree that the coaching some groups receive is not at the level it needs to be, especially for brand new participants who don’t know about keeping to the right, only passing on the left, calling out “On Your Left” when approaching, staying in single file, etc., these people are out trying to make a difference in the world. They are putting their bodies in places some of them have never been. They are up at 5 AM and jumping in water that is 65 degrees, facing fears every time. They are not “elite” for the most part, but they are trying.
And while I am at it, more often than not it is these “elite” cyclists that are NOT calling out “on your left” while riding.
Probably because they are trying too hard to BEAT you instead of training WITH you.
Team in Training is the reason some of your parents, friends, children, podcast hosts (of course had to add Vinnie Tortorich in here at some point) are still walking this planet. We wear our TNT gear proudly, even during races we have not raised money for, because we believe in what they do and the results that they have had. So, next time someone sends you a request for a donation, how about skipping that Sugar Bomb one day, or not going to McDonald’s for dollar Big Mac night, and send it to them as a donation? After all, the life your money saves may end up being your own.
To end this, if you’d like to contribute to my current fundraising, please go to http://pages.teamintraining.org/donate and enter my name (John Harris) of the Northern & Central Florida Team (if you just enter my name it should come up).