So many of you out there in the JustGiving community have come together to raise money for and to donate to those affected by the Pakistan floods. And while we can only select one fundraiser of the month, we applaud you ALL for your incredible response and continuing generosity and support for ongoing relief efforts in the region.
Congratulations to Hamza Mush, Chris Tsao and Tom Owens, our August fundraisers of the month. Learning of the devestating impact of the flooding in Pakistan, these three friends decided to take some pretty cool – and quick – fundraising action.
In just a few days: they set up JustGiving page at http://www.justgiving.com/aidforpakistan and with little training (the only part of this story we can’t completely endorse – so – to say the requisite – don’t try this at home, or on the trail, kids!) took on Hong Kong’s longest hiking challenge, the 100km MacLehose Trail. Which they completed in a grueling and sometimes harrowing 38-hour trek.
In just a few short weeks: they’ve raised nearly £8000 for the UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee. That’s pretty impressive amount for any team….not to mention one with no prior fundraising experience.
I recently emailed Hamza wondering what inspired their quickly-assembled fundraising challenge. He emailed back:
“It was a combination of things. The sheer scale of the disaster. The number of people turning a blind eye to it. The disproportionately small scale of the efforts by the international community to help. Followed by the realisation that the three of us could take things into our own hands, and instead of feeling helpless, just step out of our comfort zones for a short period of time and do something that wakes people up around us and gets them to donate money to where it’s needed the most…”
A simple but eloquent explanation for a simple yet extraordinary deed. Hamza, Chris and Tom saw a need. They decided how they could help. And they set their plan into action.
It’s this kind of simple action - going the distance, in whatever way you can – that our incredible JustGiving community shows time and time again. You don’t have to set records or run entire marathons. You don’t have to give millions. You just do what you can, and you give what you can, to help others in need. It really is that simple to do something extraordinary.
Advice for other fundraisers
Speaking of extraordinary, this team has raised an impressive £8000 in just a few weeks’ time. And this is a first time fundraising effort! I asked Hamza how they managed to reach and engage so many sponsors in just a few weeks’ time. He tells us:
“The main methods we used to get the word out were setting up a joint Facebook group, inviting everyone we knew to it, and channeling them towards the JustGiving page.
“This along with [Facebook] status updates every few days, emailing all our family/extended relatives, spreading it amongst our parents’ coworkers, and any other contacts we had, along with general word of mouth.”
Finally, he offers this gem of advice….one we’ve seen proven time and again:
“Updating people with pictures and after-thoughts of the trek also helped generate attention, interest, awareness, and funds.”
The updates actually make for something like cliff-hanger reading, recapping some pretty harrowing moments along the trail. But, as they themselves note, they’re lucky to be able to go home to clean water, warm beds and full fridges at the end of it.
For too many people in Pakistan right now, this just isn’t an option.
Check out Hamza, Chris and Tom’s JustGiving fundraising page to read their recap of the trek. As our fundraisers of the month, JustGiving will make a £50 donation to their page. Consider making one yourself. Remember, all proceeds go to DEC’s effort to help the millions impacted by the floods. And every bit you can give is needed – and will help.