Philanthropy Friday: Join Me in the #MiracleMarathon

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.

This post was made possible through the support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. All opinions are my own.

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I’m thrilled to share that I am serving as a lead blogger for this fall’s Miracle Marathon, specifically in support of EMHS Foundation Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Bangor, Maine.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raise funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America. When a donation is given, it stays in the community, so you know you are helping kids in your own backyard. I love this about the Miracle Network.

The Miracle Marathon is a 27-day virtual fundraising campaign in which participants run/walk (or achieve forward motion of any kind!) one mile per day at their leisure. The first 26 days are completed at your own pace—wherever and whenever you want. On Day 27, the final 1.2 miles will be started as a group at 2:27 pm EST.

Get it? It’s a marathon, plus a mile, for the kids! And it’s perfect for those of us who like the idea of completing a marathon but would rather not complete all those grueling miles at once. (Who’s with me?)

Please join me and register to support EMHS Foundation Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. You can join my team, Maine Miracles, if you’d like, or you can support another Children’s Miracle Network Hospital closer to you. Don’t forget to tell your friends too!

And if you register as a Miracle Maker (you’ll receive fun swag!), you can use my special code MiracleJennifer to get a 10% discount off registration.

Of course, you can also donate to my Maine Miracles team as well. As part of my Giving Pledge I have started with a donation of $50.

Will you join me in supporting the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals?

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Are you willing to take the giving pledge and donate every month to a nonprofit? Grab the badge below and tell the world.

another jennifer giving pledge

Philanthropy Friday: Track Your Giving Footprint

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

everydayhero

everydayhero is a global fundraising platform that allows you to see the impact of your giving. Just launched in the United States, the original concept for everydayhero was co-founded in 2004 by Simon Lockyer and Nathan Betteridge in Australia. Back then, they started a consumer brand that gave a percentage of its sales to charity. Both had done a lot of work in the nonprofit sector and wanted to incorporate giving into the brand that sat in big stores.

That consumer brand never took off, but they noticed the Internet was really taking off. They left the stores and went online to create everydayhero in 2007. Simon tells me their goal was to make giving more accessible and easier. They saw that nonprofits were poorly funded and that peer to peer fundraising was prevalent.

A lot of consumer research was done prior to launching everydayhero. They wanted to go beyond the dollar sign and truly understand what giving means to people. They found that we are motivated when we can see our impact. Showing people a quantitative view of their giving makes people want to give even more.

Knowing these facts, Simon and his crew set out to measure more than just a dollar amount. They also measure our time, voice, energy and effort. everydayhero has partnerships with MapMyFitness, VolunteerMatch, Facebook and Twitter, allowing users to quantify their own giving footprint.

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I set up my own account in everydayhero and was able to create a volunteering goal and log the hours I’ve already put in this year at the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program. You can also create your own fundraising pages, which are easily shared and tracked via social media. And you can see the collective impact you are making with other community members around the world. I’m told $206 million has been raised using everydayhero from 3.8 million donations since 2007.

everydayhero was acquired by fundraising giant Blackbaud in 2011, so it is also backed by an established nonprofit technology partner. Watch this video to find out more about how everydayhero works.

Will you track your giving footprint?

Philanthropy Friday: Moving Forward and Asking for Help

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GiveForward and contains affiliate links, but the words and thoughts are my own. 

Last week I shared that I am in the process of getting a divorce. It’s not easy to share something so personal, but writing is my therapy and I needed to get what was swirling in my head out. Since the post, I’ve received an amazing amount of comments, messages and calls of support from friends online and in real life.

In the past couple of months, I’ve talked with a lot of people about my situation. I’ve needed advice, information or just a listening ear. My support system has rallied around me, and I’ve come to realize the importance of asking for help.

One of the best pieces of advice I have received so far is to not be afraid to speak up when I need something. People will help. But you have to let them know what you need. Too often people keep their challenges to themselves because they think they should be able to handle it themselves. That others will judge them or simply not understand their situation. There’s often a stigma attached to asking for help, as if it were a sign of weakness.

When I saw that a Facebook friend moved into a new house in the town next to mine, I messaged her and asked if she might give me her empty boxes. Not only did she accommodate, but she offered me free drive by hugs any time I want and an open invitation to visit again and just hang out. And I thought I was just scoring some boxes to use as I prepare to sell my house.

I’ve found that people do want to give to others. They go the extra mile when they know the story and feel the desire to help.

Raise Money for a Loved One in Need. It's Quick, Easy, and Secure at GiveForward.com

Giveforward.com is an online fundraising website that gives people an easy way to raise money for those loved ones in need. I first wrote about GiveForward in 2011. They are worth another mention after 3 years!

As an organization, GiveForward focuses on compassion. As a platform, GiveForward helps to break the stigma of asking for help and empowers those who want to give. Whether you create a fundraiser or give to a fundraiser, you can feel good about helping someone in need. To date, GiveForward has helped raise $98,051,700 towards medical expenses. My post from 2011 noted over $9 million, so it is evident that people have discovered the power of this fundraising platform.

I’ve seen families suffer greatly due to unexpected medical problems and the expenses that come with them. I’ve also seen people rally for those families to lessen the burden. What would happen if they didn’t ask for help? Life would certainly be different.

Have you asked for or offered help to someone recently?

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