Let me preface this to say that in fact this post is not about amounts of money. The donations I am mentioning are amazing for various reasons. And the amounts of money they refer to range from $5 to hundreds. I sincerely appreciate every single donation, every single note sent to me privately or publically offering moral support and every single bit of advice given to get me started or keep me going. You all have made this journey SO special! If you aren't sure why, read the rest of my blog!
The idea for this post came to me last Sunday. I was on my way to Toronto with a wedding cake for the wedding of friends and I got a text from Gabe Chaimovitz. His son's Upsherin (when a jewish boy gets his hair cut at 3 years old, a tradition some people hold) Gabe, who has gorgeous curly thick hair that he had been growing for quite a while auctioned off the cutting of his hair to raise money for yachad and sponsor me in the marathon. He accomplished the impossible by making me completely speechless. I had no idea that he was going to do this for Yachad. I was absolutely blown away.
Gabe and his wife Corrinne are always good friends and they are truly stellar people. To have shared Jaker's limelight with Yachad to help us raise profile would have been enough to help me accomplish my goal of raising profile, but to also raise money just elevated this mitzvah to a level that is so incredible! Gabe owns a business called TEGS Tools (http://www.tegstools.com/) and I have asked him for some interesting things (mostly involving welder's glass- once for an eclipse and now for our plague bags for passover!) so give him a call if you need anything! His customer service is second to none!
Adaliah Schweitzer offered to make me a pretty profile picture to support my blog and my fundraising for Yachad (since I had been hoping the blog would be something i could capitalize on for corporate sponsorships.) We have not had time to actually get this together but it was so thoughtful and much appreciated. Adaliah is a very talented photographer. You can see her work at http://www.adaliaphoto.com/ She takes breathtaking pictures.
Next is my friend Adrienne who while I have never met her in person, I have known for many, many years. She gave me a donation just because I asked. I have to say that that is a concept I never really thought about before. I often don't take action on donation requests for cash flow or other reasons sometimes even because I am just too lazy to go get my wallet out and find my credit card. Adrienne's donation made me think about the fact that it is not about how much, its' about responding to the ask. She actually changed my way of thinking on the topic.
My friends Jonathan and Jocelyn did something interesting too. They sponsored me for every achievement that I made. 5k, 10 k and so on. It was a truly inspiring way to both support me and yachad!
Then there are the Christian Ministers. I have friends, Ray and Rosalind MacDonald. My mom is friends with Reverent Sherif Garas. The MacDonalds work for Leket Israel so they are also very into fundraising. Rev. Garas' wife Magda works with my Mom in her very high special needs class in Applewood School in Toronto. When the Garas' and the MacDonald's donated, both of the donations came with big blessings and a huge amount of interfaith appreciation. I wonder if my friends were randomly asking for support of Christian causes, if I would have even thought about sponsoring them. Ok, maybe because if they were doing something physical like me, maybe, but still, the Garas are complete strangers to me! And Ray and Rosalind who love Israel and Jews just the way they are, well, your generosity in sending me dollars that could also have gone to Leket, is appreciated!
And then there is Gloria Christianson. One day, I was standing in Fortino's and the cashier was new or something and started talking to Gloria. Somehow we got on the topic of the Marathon and she handed me $100 and said, ' I had a severely disabled child who died when he was 18. Please take this donation because I so appreciate what you are doing!' I did think to get her a tax receipt, so I have her contact information but other than that she was a total stranger!
My daughter Ariel committed ten percent of her Bat Mitzvah money to charity. She gave a donation to Leket Israel, and also to my Team Yachad. I love that it was SHE who remembered that it needed to be done and prodded me til it got done (i have a credit card!)
Then this past week someone contacted me to say that they would make sure we got to $3000 but just to let them know on Dec. 31. I don't know what happens if we make it to $3k before that, but that was kind of a leap of faith ! And it's good to know that I will hit 3k even if people wait until after January 1. Of course hitting 3k does not mean I have to stop! It just means I met my financial goal!
My friend Moleigh made a donation a few months ago and then asked me a question that gave me a totally new way of raising money. She asked if a donation could be made in honour of/ or memory of someone. This prompted me to be able to collect some donations for various things and the OU/Yachad sent out cards to the recipients once the donation was made. If you are considering making a donation for a simcha, please consider doing so to my Yachad account. Or, if it is after we stop collecting, to Yachad period. They will send cards!
And to you 'anonymous' who blew me away with a $200 donation that was just completely unexpected- I can't say too much about it without giving away your identity, but I just want to say that you rock and I am currently and always have been so happy to know you for so many reasons! Your good nature is awesome and inspiring!
And then there are all the donations that were so generously given in all sorts of amounts. You ALL rock. Yachad thanks you and I thank you!
OK! GOTTA GO FOR A TEN K today in this 17C weather! PERFECT walking weather!