I belong to a women’s mastermind group, and one of the objectives of the program is charity. I have been struggling with this concept. How does a small business make a big difference? What can I possibly bring to the table? I was having a hard time wrapping my head around this.
And then there is the issue of what charity to get behind.
For one, my family has been plagued with a genetic cholesterol disorder called familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). My dad and 6 of his brothers died of heart attacks at very early ages as a result of their FH, and my brother, Randy, passed away in December from the same disease. I have it, my daughter has it, and several of my cousins struggle with it. My cousin Mackenzie is an active patient advocate for The FH Foundation and has brought the organization into our lives. In fact, when my brother passed, in lieu of flowers we requested donations go to The FH Foundation. Many of our family members are participating in a virtual 5K on September 24th to help raise money and awareness. That’s one charity I can get behind.
And then there’s The St. Baldrick’s Foundation. One of Randy’s friends had a son that died of brain cancer at just 8 years old. Randy became very involved with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Their mission is to conquer childhood cancer. So, after my brother died, my mom decided that she wanted us to have a golf tournament to help celebrate his life and to raise money for a charity in his memory. She chose his favorite charity – St. Baldrick’s. The entire charity golf tournament was organized by Randy’s best friend and my husband, Tim. I chipped in by creating an event on the St. Baldrick’s website. When they asked our financial goal, I had no idea how much we would achieve – maybe $1,000?
On the day of the tournament, I manned the registration table while Tim collected money for registration and sold tickets for mulligans, closest to the pin, putting contest and whatever else you do during a golf tournament. We were also selling 50/50 raffle tickets and awareness wristbands. One participant even sponsored a hole in one prize for $300! I was standing at the table watching people willingly open up their wallets and it HIT ME! It felt SO good to be raising money for such a worthy charity that my brother would be proud of!
Then it all made sense. I was making it all too complicated. I don’t need to be the CEO of a major non-profit or feed all the hungry people in the world to make a difference. In that one golf tournament, we raised $4,150 – well over my expectations! Everyone that won a cash prize from the tournament donated it all back to St. Baldrick’s! It was amazing to watch, and through it all I found my path to charity starts in my very own community of family and friends.