On April 7th I applied to join the Sandy Hook Promise NYC Marathon Team. I was nervous, but I also knew that this was a cause that I whole heartedly believed in. I also knew that it would be a long shot for me to make the team. To my surprise, a month latter I got notification that a spot was mine if I would accept not just the challenge of running 26.2 miles, but also agreeing to raise $3,000. As much as I knew I would say yes, I also had panic attacks thinking that if I didn’t reach my goal I would be responsible for it. That being said if I had thousands of dollars to donate on my own I would have jumped without thought, but I’ve got 3 kids with one just starting college. This was a huge commitment to take on. One that I couldn’t refuse though. There were many reasons to politely walk away.
I did it anyway.
Over the next month, there were contracts to be signed, forms to be completed, and registering through NYRR for NYC Marathon. Then I was able to get my fundraising page set up on May 30th.
Off I went.
Fast forward to today where I have reached my goal. I know that I have said this before, but I have been blown away time and time again during this process. It has touched my soul to see the outpouring of support for Sandy Hook Promise. I still remember talking with a friend more than a year after the tragedy at Sandy Hook. She said to me, “You are very angry and I think you need to do something.”
She was right. I was angry. I was angry that more people weren’t angry. I was angry that more wasn’t being done to prevent these tragedies which continued to happen. I was angry because I did feel helpless, but then I realized that I wasn’t alone in my anger and wanting to bring about change. As soon as I learned of the Sandy Hook Promise organization, I became a supporting member. I continued to share their message and work for change.
As time passed Sandy Hook Promise has grown into more than just a promise, but a plan of action. They have evolved. Currently they offer free to schools and communities programs such as Know the Signs, SOS signs of Suicide Prevention Program, Start with Hello, and a Safety and Intervention program. I have been told that my school district will be implementing the Start with Hello program this coming school year. These free resources to schools are not free and can only happen with the donations that are made to Sandy Hook Promise.
It is with this thought that I decided to tackle my personal fundraising. I firmly believe that we need to do better for our children. As hokey as it sounds (and you hear Whitney in your head when I say it)….
I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride
To make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be
This could not be more true and it is up to us as the adults to lead the way. Although there are many children who are bolding leading it too.
This whole journey from seeing the application by chance to today has been surreal. Everything has felt like it has fallen into place and each step has felt like it was meant to be even if I can honestly say there was much anxiety in the beginning. At some point though, I knew it would all fall into place and if it didn’t that was ok too. Some might see these as coincidences. I have started to see them as the signs that they are.
When I joined this campaign, I joined for no other reason than I believe in this cause and want to make a difference in the way that I can. I find it fitting that exactly 2 months to the day of starting my fundraising that I have met my goal. Even more fitting that a very dear friend was the one to take me over my goal. That being said, I am so appreciative of everyone who has supported not me, but Sandy Hook with their donations. One of my favorite expressions is Together We Can Make a difference and it is amazing to see that in action.
That being said, I’m going to continue this journey for Sandy Hook right up till I cross that finish line and even after:)