It’s Not Just a Human Thing

Dan, one of our riders from Illinois, reports in that good works aren’t just limited to helping out our brothers and sisters in need. He and his wife are active volunteers in the “As Good as Gold” organization which rescues Golden Retrievers in the Northern Illinois area. As Dan says, “I can attest to the joys of helping animals find “forever homes.”

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Midwest Bus Tour!

The bus rolls on though not running too far from home this week going just across Lake Michigan and then back to Madison.

Cousin Stan turned me on (via facebook) to the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation, a group that is looking to improve cognitive abilities on those with Downs Syndrome. His funny, lovely daughter, my, lessee here, second cousin (?) is in that group so dollars directed this way have a personal impact as well.

My lovely bride turned up another grass roots effort right here in Madison. There’s a group that gets together with a fantastic twist on the old networking party. It is all of that, but every gathering also has a designated charitable focus. At their most recent meeting, they raised almost $600 for the Breast Cancer Recover Fund. The target for the next meeting is picked out of a hat from the suggestions offered by the group. Already this year, they’ve raise almost $1,500 for local charities. They call it Fun, Food and Philanthropy, with this particular group led by Melanie Schmidt of the Timpano Group

Springtime and the Return of the Charity Run, Walk or Ride

So today’s news flash comes from two backwards bus veterns.

First, Suz P in New Hamsphire has laced up her tennies and is doing a 5k run for Girls Inc. of New Hampshire, an organization who’s mission states “Our mission and passion is to help girls achieve their personal best through one-on-one attention, leadership development, a talented staff and volunteers, a wide range of enrichment programs, and a caring family environment.”

Second, Adonica G reports that her original KIVA loan is heading out for a second round of good works. The Kiva thing is so much fun that I’ve just put $25/month in budget to throw their way. It’s cool to put money into something and then see the results and have it keep on giving!

Who will think of the children?

Well, it seems folks on the bus are. 

These things seem to come in clusters and this week’s cluster is the various organizations that allow one to “foster” a child stuck in poverty somewhere around the world. In the last few weeks I’ve run across two absolutely amazing stories regarding folks who started out sponsoring a child almost on a whim and ended up with a life long relationship of sometimes stunning poignancy. The stories are so intimate that I don’t feel proper just posting them myself, but KM and AW know the good work they’ve done and if you’re looking for a monthly contribution to get on a roll, World Vision and Save The Children are both organizations with an established track record. Appropriate in some way with Mother’s Day approaching.

In a related note, there’s an emerging thread of fighting terrorism through better education. One example is the Kashmir Family Aid non-profit. Seems a bit focused on the Muslim side of the world, even if the Texas and Kansas State Boards of Education could use a little help with their extremist thinking.  Regardless of one’s political, religious or scientific beliefs, I’m thinking education is one of those “do good” imperatives.

But Wait, There’s More

So in looking at Nev’s web page for the Great Ireland Run, I got curious about the service that supported the web page.   Pretty cool site that supports charities by making it easy for folks to have an on-line presence for their fund raising efforts.  Go take a look at https://www.mycharity.ie/info_about.php.  Anybody out there know of something similar in the U.S?

The Bus Gets Water Wings and Goes to Ireland

So I thought I’d pulled the backwards birthday bus into the garage, but it seems to have acquired a mind of it’s own, put on the old water wings and headed over to Ireland.  This is comes through a certified Backward Buser, Suzanne P, and though the Great Ireland Run was last weekend, it’s not too late to throw a bit into the bucket.  I think the e-mail stream says it all:

From: Nev Ross
Sent: Monday, April 06, 2009 6:12 AM
To: Nev Ross
Subject: A big Thank You! to all who sponsored me in The Great Ireland Run which took place yesterday.

Hi all,

I just want to say a very big Thank You! to all that sponsored me in the great Ireland run which took place yesterday. So far I have raised €2,005 and I know a few more of you have said you would be sticking a few euro down this week. Here is the link again http://www.mycharity.ie/event/nev_ross_greatirelandrun2009/ I have the left the site open for another few days.

So how did yesterday go? Apart form a delayed start and the number of walkers who decided to start up the front instead of at the back it went well, I was aiming for around 65mins but it look me around 70mins (waiting on official number to be supplied based on electronic tag) I have to blame the walkers for slowing down the first couple of km and the fact those hills in the last 4 km were tough on us not so fit people… but I will be back to do it quicker next year. 

I was running along listening to the radio then began to look at all the amazing people around me from young to old and from every county in Ireland and even some from further a field and it really opened my eyes, I would say 90% of the 11,000 people were out doing the same thing as I was, trying to raise funds for organizations\charities that receive either too little or no funding at all. When you see people running to get life saving equipment for a children’s hospital or walking to raise funds for leukemia research it makes you really wonder what have the good years have brought or even bought (by the looks of it not to much). With everything going on in the global economy these organizations are going to be the ones that are hit first and while governments all over the world are saving car manufacturers and banks it will be the needy, and in many cases the people that can’t fight for themselves that will suffer more than most, and are one of the easy targets to cut funding too.

So it was not just about the thousands of people that took part yesterday, it is also about every single person who donated (small or big amounts) to the people that take part in these types of event events all over the country\world on a daily basis. Your donations really do make a difference and I know from time to time everybody gets inundated with donation requests, and I really appreciate the huge support I got to exceed my initial target of €600 by over 3 times. It really made this event even more worthwhile to me and for the CRC which is very close to my family.  

So on behalf of myself and the CRC, I would like to say a huge “Thank You

 A tip for anybody trying to pace themselves in a similar event: “Don’t try to pass the person in front of you, but do try to keep in front of the person behind you”

 Nev Ross 

Exercising Your Heart (and Soul).

So the big day came and went with no blackest night at noonday, plagues of frogs or anything like that. In fact it was a pretty sweet day and a great wrap up of a month’s worth of celebrating with y’all. As I said in my birthday greeting, this was an unexpectedly moving and reassuring exercise and I don’t see any reason to fold up shop just because the actual birthday has passed.

I’ve got a little backlog of stories and it seems like every post or email generates one or two more stories so I’m going to keep the blog going with more stories, ideas and links for good causes, good works, and good times.

This time around Suzanne P chimed in, recounting her several charity bike rides a summer, with her favorite being the American Lung Association, a three day journey on the cape. Between walks like the one Fran N is doing or the rides like Suzanne’s there are a ton of opportunities for the moderately active to get out and enjoy the outdoors and raise money for their favorite causes. Dust of those running shoes, pump up those bike tires and earn a good buck or two for your favorite charity.