- Posted July 21, 2014 by
Nyack, New York
Let me tell you some good news...
We're doing something good in the world and I'm not embarrassed to say we want to be recognized for it on a grand scale. See, the more news we get, the more well known we become, the more good we can do. It seems simple, but it's not.
A little over a year ago my husband and I started a children's charity in our living room. It started when I read the story of Tripp Halstead, a perfectly healthy precocious 2 year old who had a tree limb fall on his head and suffered a traumatic brain injury. I desperately wanted to help his mom stay by his side as long as possible so I had this harebrained idea of asking my husband to ride his bicycle from NY to GA in 5 days to raise money for his care. I knew nothing of crowd funding and the power of social media...what I did know was that I felt called to help. I thought at best we could raise 10K, we ended up raising 200K and started a movement we call the Ride to Give Army.
As a mother of healthy children I felt a deep obligation to help other moms who are not so fortunate. I wanted to dispel the notion that if you don't have $20 to spare, you can't give. I wanted to prove that if enough people give a little, we can change a lot. By "change" I mean change a child's life, change a family's financial situation, and change ourselves, the givers, because when you give to others you are really giving to yourself.
When we got home from GA last year I decided to make a go of it full time. We've turned crowd funding and Facebook into vehicles to truly help families with children who are injured, disabled, or ill. In the past 14 months we have raised nearly $800,000 for 31 families and just completed our second annual "Ride to Give" to benefit another GA family. We are now a full fledged 501c3 charity still run out of our living room, but only our army knows about us and that needs to change.
I have sent emails and press releases to every national news program, sports show, talk show and news affiliate from NY to GA. I have messaged hosts and anchors, producers and interns and yet, we are not national news. Don't get me wrong, we've had incredible local press through the Carolinas and in Georgia. We've even had a local story here and there in our small NY town. Yet I feel like like the rest of the country could stand to hear some good news.
In a day and age where you can raise $70K for potato salad or get rich off your cat, you would think a story like ours would be important. Don't people WANT good news, not just story after story of people hurting each other? I can hear the tag line now "Stay at home mom convinces Ironman husband to ride 900 miles by bicycle to benefit a sick child - then goes on to change the world!" Ok, that might be a bit much, but there is a story here, a story of strangers coming together to help strangers, using social media for good. It's the story of a stay at home mom who "found her calling" and thus herself by helping others at 44. It's the story of families whose lives have been changed by the love and generosity of the Ride to Give Army. It's a story I want to tell everyone everywhere.
Anyone got a megaphone?
Kaete Nazaroff - www.ridetogive.com - facebook.com/ridetogive