My Fundraising Journey, by Sylvia Peters
I had lived to be almost 80 without being aware of Tuberous Sclerosis. Then a dear little baby was born into a close “extended family” and within a few
weeks they received the devastating news of his diagnosis. Since then I have been very much aware of the problems faced. I also approached my 80th
birthday so decided to ask for donations for TSA instead of presents. I wanted to do this because I have been so impressed by the work of the Association
- although small it seems to achieve a great deal and also, in this age of medical/scientific breakthroughs, I think that finding a cure is a realistic
aim, given sufficient resources for research.
However, I did not have just one birthday event. With the difficulties of a Christmas-time birthday, having lived in other areas and friends even older than I was I decided on a three month 'Birthday Period' from October to January which would focus on fundraising and enjoying myself by meeting up with family and friends. I am wheelchair-bound but it has been a great fun-time of travel and interaction, considerably enhanced by meeting people and their reaction to TS. I have probably spoken to close on 100 people and apart from family, not one had heard of this condition. However all became interested and most asked for more information.
So I started with a happy pub lunch with family and old friends in Hereford, also engaging with some of the local people there and in the nursing home where I stayed for logistical reasons. Then home for some weeks of coffee with friends “passing through” but being met by my “TSA Display Corner” I had set up in my flat. Next came the Christmas Raffle. I live in sheltered housing and every Christmas we have a raffle and donate proceeds to a charity that is voted for by all residents. This year the TSA won easily . Finally a tea party on my actual birthday where I was so pleased to see the little boy who started my journey running happily around. Then, as an unexpected postscript in the week following, people who had heard of what I was doing, began to send in donations .
Thinking back, I have met a wide variety of people and all have been supportive, of me, obviously, but also of my fundraising aim: informed family making my days so special; grandchildren donating pocket money and going round with a bucket selling TSA wristbands; a Hereford taxi driver giving me back his tip “for my TSA tin”; a workman in my flat listening and then putting coins in my TSA tin; fellow residents in my sheltered housing complex voting for “my” charity. And all this has resulted in the amazing total of £805.50p being raised for the TSA. What a lovely birthday present. I feel very proud to join the amazing band of TSA fundraisers.
And it seems to me that the awareness raised has been almost as important as the money.
Try fundraising in some way - you will get far more out of it than you put in!