Posts Tagged ‘fund raising’

I was “inspired” yesterday to do a little research.  The Super Bowl is coming up this Sunday.  The Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos will rekindle their old AFC West rivalry.  My hope is that the game will be a repeat of the last time these two teams met in the post-season (a 31 – 7 Seattle win!).

..but I digress…

Yes, I was “inspired” to do a little research.  We’ve heard it every year in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.  It is the day with the highest number of domestic violence incidents of the year.  Thousands of women get beaten by their drunk spouses or boyfriends.  It is also the “highest human trafficking incident in the United States”.  Tens of thousands of women, as many as 100,000, get shipped to the Super Bowl host city to work the streets, limos and hotels.

Congressman are now sponsoring legislation.  Websites like Upworthy are posting videos.  Bloggers are taking to social media and swearing they will not watch the Super Bowl.

There’s even a new graphic going around:

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 8.58.51 AM

There’s one problem…

None of it is true.  That’s right; year after year after year, research and statistics have shown that neither one of these is true.  If you don’t want to believe me, then read Rachel Lloyd’s most recent post over at Huff Po (Click —>HERE<—).  Lloyd is the founder of GEMS – Girls Educational and Mentoring Services.  You can also read a 75 page report from the Global Alliance Against the Trafficking of Women (Click —>HERE<—). Both groups will tell you that the Super Bowl myth is essentially an outright lie.

So why are so many organizations, church groups, politicians and people perpetuating this lie?  Here are a few, in my opinion, depressing reasons (courtesy of the GAATW):

  • Its usefulness as a fundraising strategy – people give money to splashy sound bites;
  • Its effectiveness in grabbing the media and the public’s attention – which of course, comes back to increased fundraising;
  • Being a quick, easy way to be seen ‘doing something’ about trafficking – you get to beat your chest, put up a graphic, say “I’m not going to watch the Super Bowl!” and think you did something good;
  • Being a more socially acceptable guise for prostitution abolitionist agendas and anti-immigration agendas.

Now don’t get me wrong.  As the father of two girls, one of whom is more vulnerable than most, sex trafficking is one of my greatest fears.  But what pisses me off even more than the scumbags who take advantage of someone’s baby girl are the people who will prey on my fears with false statistics and outright lies in an attempt to scare me into donating money.  That way of spreading awareness may work in the short-term, but in the long run you simply end up with folks who will not believe anything you say, because your platform is built on a lie…and what does that do for future victims of the sex trade? Nothing.  In fact, probably worse than nothing because those of us who cared will have stopped listening.

I am left to believe that those inspired bloggers and organizations that push the above graphic are ultimately in it just for the attention and the dollars that will flow their way from those of us who get caught up in the hyperbole – it’s that or they are too lazy to actually do some research.  In either case, do you really want to trust your donations to groups like that?  If you truly want to help, contact GEMS or the GAATW to see what you can do.

And the next time you see a “statistic” like the above graphic, take the time to do a little research before passing it on.

And if you don’t want to watch the Super Bowl, then don’t watch it, but stop trying so hard to come up with a reason.  If you don’t like football, then it is totally socially acceptable not to watch the Super Bowl.

Oh, and no, the Super Bowl won’t kill you…it was just a headline to get your attention.


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You like to run – check!

You want to help the autism community – check!

You haven’t been able to get into the incredibly popular Falmouth Road Race, like, ever! – check!

Guess what? You have an opportunity right now, today (or tomorrow) to be able to get into THIS year’s race taking place on August 11th. 

How, you may ask?
There is a little start up company called Technology For Autism Now (TAN) that secured 4 charity bibs for the race.  I will readily admit that I know very little about them other than they are creating technology that makes it easier for our kids to communicate more easily with the world around them.  They are still looking for runners but registration closes tomorrow (July 31st).

What would be required of you?
Well, you’d pay the $50 entry fee and then need to raise $200 via their Firstgiving Page by October 31st.  That’s 3 full months to raise just $200 AND you get to run Falmouth (a race I have never been able to get into!)!!!

So who do you need to contact?
First email Racemenu at support@racemenu.com to let them know you want to do it and then go to racemenu.com/falmouth to register.  There are only 4 spots available as of this posting so grab ’em now while you can.  Who knows when you’ll get another guaranteed chance to run Falmouth!

I would be running too, but it appears I’m on my way to an appearance on the PUP list.

Now go!  Click on the link!  Go run Falmouth!!!

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Morning run.

Bike ride to work.

Walking the dog.

Do these sound like fund raisers?  Well, they can be.

And it is seriously that simple. There is a fantastic little app, available on both iPhones and Android devices, called Charity Miles.  It allows you to be sponsored during whatever walking, biking or running activity you take part in.  The best part is that you are not limited to one or two charities to choose from.  You can choose from nine charities that are varied in what they do:

You simply start the app, swipe to the charity of your choice, press start and go.  For each mile you walk or run,  you earn 25¢ for your charity of choice.  For every mile you bike, you earn 10¢.  It may not sound like a lot, but it adds up.  If every runner at Boston 13.1 had used the app, nearly $5000 would have been raised simply with swipe of a finger.  In the short time I have been using the app, I’ve raised enough money to fund nearly 5 hours of autism research.  Think about how much you move throughout the day.  Whether it’s your morning run, walking the kids to school, biking to work, walking the dogs three times a day…every step can count; every errand can be a fund raiser.  The only work you have to do is the work you were already going to be doing!

Charity Miles has $1,000,000.00 to give away.

One.  Millions.  Dollars.

That’s a lot of dollars.  Their goal is to give it all away by May 31, 2013.

Food, school supplies, Parkinson’s research, conservation, housing, inclusion…whatever your charitable cause may be (and of course, if you have no preference, I’d say go light blue!), you can help each of these charities earn a chunk of the millions dollars simply by moving you body.

This is how it works:

This is Gene’s (the founder) story:

Gene’s Story

It’s a free app, paying you to do what you were already going to do.  The more people who do this, the more money our charities earn, the bigger impact we have.

So if you run, walk, bike, skip, shuffle, dance or moonwalk your way around your neighborhood or to and from work, take a moment to download the app.  You’re going to do those activities anyway, why not get paid for it!

And who knows, you might end up in a cool email like the one that arrived in my inbox early last night:

Luau Earns Style Points
With Team Up With Autism Speaks
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Team Player!

Dear Team Charity Miles,

Meet Matt “Luau” Wilson.  Yesterday, Matt joined 260 teammates from Autism Speaks to run the Boston Half Marathon.  Luau had coached this team all summer.  So when race day came, there was no holding back.  Out came the Big… Blue… Afro!

But Luau’s style points don’t end there.  After pacing one of his teammates to a P.R. (personal record), Matt ran back onto the course to shuttle in the next teammate he could find. Then he did it again… And again… And again… Until he personally ran in all 260 teammates.  All in all, Matt ran over 22 miles– nearly a full marathon!  Way to go Matt!  Way to be a team player!

Also, congratulations to everyone else on Team Up who helped raise over $175,000 for Autism Speaks yesterday.  Just goes to show you how a small group of people can have a big impact.  Or, as we, like to say, “Changing the world is a team sport!”

In honor of Matt and Autism Speaks, wear something blue while you do your Charity Miles this week.  Tweet out the #GoTeam hashtag and you could win a free T-Shirt!

All the best,


Copyright © 2012 Charity Miles, All rights reserved.
Every Mile Matters!
Our mailing address is:

Charity Miles

320 West 38th Street

New York, NY 10018

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I finally pulled the trigger last week – I officially signed up to run the New York City Marathon for the third year in a row.

And for the third year in a row, I will be running as a charity runner – raising funds for the organization that is particularly close to my heart – Autism Speaks.  I had held off signing up for so long this year because I was busy recruiting many of you to run Boston 13.1 on September 16th (also for Autism Speaks – If you haven’t signed up to run, there are still spaces available.  Sign up —HERE—).

I could go on and on about why I am running and why I need your help, but it really comes down to this:  Autistic people like Brooke face a wide range of challenges both as children and as adults.  Autism Speaks tries to take these challenges on from several different angles – funds raised go to scientific research, social services, development of employment opportunities, and raising awareness.

They work tirelessly to make the world a better place for my Brooke and all autistics who are both like and not like her – that’s how wide the spectrum is.

So I come to you, hat in hand, asking for your help.  I have agreed to raise $3000 by November 4th (that’s on top of the $500+ I’ve already raised for Boston 13.1).  Whether it’s $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 or even the whole darned $3000, I’m asking for your help.

Every dollar counts.

Last year, because you put Jess & I over $10,000 for the Boston Autism Walk, I dyed my hair blue for the marathon.  I figured it would be pretty boring if I did the same thing again, so I’m going to mix it up a little while maintaining the theme.  This year, if you get me to my goal of $3000 by October 15th, I will run in this:

It should make me easy to spot along the way.

Now, if you all really go crazy and get me to my goal of $3000 before September 15th (that’s only a few weeks away), I might just be convinced to run in this:

Come on…you know you want me to do it!  And the truth is, I do owe Katy Perry something for nudging me in the direction I find myself (free training session for you Katy should you ever find yourself in the Boston area).  If it does come to this one though, I may reserve the right to put it up in a ponytail if it gets too hot.

Speaking of Ms. Perry, you may know I am currently working toward a CSCS certification that will allow me to officially work as a personal/team trainer.  My plan is to be certified by the end of March 2013.  How is this significant?  For every $25 donated, I will put the donator’s name into a hat (so $100 would be 4 entries).  On November 1st, I will have Brooke draw out a name.  The winner will receive (after I am certified) 3 training sessions that will include on top of that a full nutritional and physical intake evaluation and a long term program to get you where you want to be.  Hopefully, after three sessions, you will still want to work with me!

If you live outside of New England, I could use some credit card miles to fly to you for a weekend or we could do something via Skype – we can work out those details later.

Okay, so here’s the link to my donation page – http://events.autismspeaks.org/nycmarathon/runluaurun – donate early and often, and remember, every $25 buys you one raffle ticket ($200= 8 tickets!).

You know you want to see me running through the streets of New York with a Katy Perry wig!

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[tweetmeme source=”luau” only_single=false http://www.URL.com]

Okay friends, New York is less than 4 weeks away.  When I first put it out there that I needed to raise $2600 to run the New York Marathon for Autism Speaks, you put me there in less than 4 weeks.  I was amazed and humbled how quickly my circle of friends rallied around to support this cause that is so very important to me.  I am extremely grateful.  For the last couple of months however, I’ve been stuck at a little over $3,000.  Nothing to sneeze at for sure, but I know I can do better.  So I’m throwing out a challenge.

If I can manage to raise $8,001 ($1 more than the goal of the fundraiser currently standing in 5th place among New York runners) before the Friday (11/5) I leave for New York, I will do this:

Yo! Wuzzup?

That’s right.  I will, for the first time in my life, dye my hair, and not only will I dye my hair, I will dye it Autism Speaks Blue.  Come on.  How many of you wanna see me walking around New York City with blue hair?

Here’s the link to my fund raising page —>HERE<—

Get me to $10K, and maybe I’ll even dye the dog!

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Why do you run?

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[tweetmeme source=”luau” only_single=false http://www.URL.com]

A little over a month ago I asked for your help.

I asked you to help me help my little Brooke and all the families out there affected by autism. I asked you to click


a link which takes you directly to my fund raising page for this year’s New York City Marathon.

I had committed to raising at least $2600.

I asked that you help support me as I tried to make the world just a little more aware, a little more understanding, a little more compassionate.

Out of my past and present you came.  Out of the known and unknown you came.  Friends, friends of friends, friends I have never met in the real world and total strangers.  You all came, and in just a little over a month, took me over the initial goal of $2600.

I hope that this is not the end of my fund raising, but I wanted to make sure that I acknowledged, publicly, those that put me over the top and sent me to New York this coming November.

Thank you.  I will think of each and every one of you as I journey through the five boroughs on November 7th,

The 2600 Club:

Alan Kessler, Andrew Vogel, Arthur Hsu, Bob Votapka, Grammy & Grandpa DD, Catherine Schembri, Christa Lind, Courtney Buie, Courntney Fredericks, Danielle Hair, Elizabeth Blecker, Eva LaBonte, Hugh Hallawell & Stinky, Ingrid & George, Jennifer Ethirveerasingam, Mo, Jack Wack, Jonathan Amir, Judith Ursitti, Kate Mead, Kevin Franck, Kim Borer, Cat Brown, Matt Geller, Michael Kim, Michelle “Miss Joy” Jacobs, Michelle Genin, Mollie Niess, Nancy De Sa, Rachel Thuemling, Randy Price, Rick Reilly, Roxanna Shershin, Russell Levine, Sarah Werner, Sarah Johnson, Stef Nathanson and Yigal Agam

I am in your debt.

I promise to run strong!

Thank you.

Although they do not appear on the list above, a special thank you must go to Blake Jones and Jonathan Harrington.  Each of you in your own way have made a huge contribution to my fund raising goal and for that I am grateful.

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