There is a lot to say when you are an intermittent blogger, and most of it, I probably won't take the time to express fully. Even with the moving target of trying to wrap up this effort by my 31st birthday (in July), I'm still trying to figure out what I have to do to make it ALL the way. There is about $4500 or 136 hours left to raise. I'm learned a lot in the last year, and certainly enough to know that while it is acheiveable, I need a plan.
Another one of the things that I have learned is that I really enjoy charity projects when they feel comfortable and relevant, more than some big symbolic effort. Namely, I would much rather have to sit down and plan a menu and shopping for 30(!) homeless youth than go to some one off gala type event. There are fundraiser's for organizations happening all the time, but I would rather have a few groups that I care deeply about and know how to impact positively. (Obviously, this does not include running 5ks.) Friends of Youth has been a great organization for me to support because their mission is good, I feel like it has changed the way I think about my own community, and it lets me do something I enjoy doing anyway (cooking with my family).
One of the reasons that I need a plan, however, is that I am expecting to change where I am spending my volunteer time soon. At the end of the month, I will be passing the torch at HiveBio. While I hope to have some ongoing relationship there, I have found I need a more free time and headspace than that position has afforded me. I'm also planning to stop volunteering with AWIS, in an effort to focus my professional networking on organizations that will connect me with professionals in my field. For recordkeeping, the two major sources of my volunteer hours will be ramping down quickly, and I still need to get something in place to meet that last $4500.
Always the inspiration, today my little sister is participating in a Kidney Walk to support kidney patients . It's the type of event that doesn't require lots of preparation, but can be fun with a team, and gives a clear direction for how to get people to help you out. Send money here. Get your friends involved- for the multiplier effect. I'm planning to sign up for at least one fundraiser 5K this summer, which should fill that niche for me (and hopefully a small team). But I'm also going to need some large-ish volunteer projects. The challenge will be balancing my new sentiment that volunteer work is impactful on the volunteer- what you spend time on becomes who you are- with my hope of getting more people involved, and the logistical limitations of trying to pull this all off by July 21. I would happily accept ideas for how to make this happen at any time.