I'm rather amazed at how much I was able to collect for the MS Bike Ride. As of right now, the total is $1350. M was able to raise $381. When we first started talking about riding in it, M was concerned about being able to each raise the $250 minimum to ride (actually it is $150 to ride 1 day, $250 to ride both days.) Originally we were going to have a team, made up of me, M, W & M's sis and her partner L. W started having problems with his back and leg and decided he wouldn't be able to do the ride. He did try the French Creek ride a few weeks prior (which is similar hilly terrain) and was only able to do a couple miles, so he would have had a hard time with the MS Ride. M's sis and L thought the cost was too great - not the registration fee since that was similar to other rides, but the idea they would be required to raise at least $150 or $250 each to participate. So they opted out fairly early. L would have had as hard a time with the ride as I did, but Sis could have done it as easily as M.
Next year we are planning to do the Gettysburg MS ride instead which should be a lot flatter. I should be ok with that one. I just can't handle the large hills, especially during the heat of summer. But I'm not going to kid myself, I couldn't have handled the hills even if the weather was cool. Now sis is saying that she will join in and ride with M next year since M finished this one by herself. Of course talk is cheap, neither M or myself will hold our breath to see if sis decides to join us next year. When the time comes she will once again worry about how much $ she would have to raise, and feel like that $ was coming out of her own pocket. As it is, neither Sis nor L made a single donation to either me or M for this years ride.
So back to the point of the post. Granted times are tough these days with the economy being the way it is. Everyone is having a hard time. Different people also have different beliefs about what and where they want to support when it comes to charitable donations, if they even want to dontate at all. With money tight, I can certainly understand the feeling that "charity begins at home" I am not so free with making donations to just anyone or anything. However, if someone I know is trying to raise $ for a good cause, I'll make a contribution. Even a couple bucks is that much. And this is a personal cause for me. So maybe I take it a little more personal. Why wouldn't you contribute at least $5 to a cause that is raising money for research that might impact the health and future of someone in your family? Even M was disappointed with her sis and L for not making any contribution. I think she was more ticked off by that than I was.
Both M & I were a little worried about meeting the $250 goal we each were targetting. In the beginning dontations were slim. A dollar here, $5 there. I got most of my donations from people I work with. Some of them people I really don't know, other than to say hi in the hall, and maybe not even be able to tell you their name. My circle of "friends" here at work - the ones I eat lunch with, sometimes see outside of work on occasion, consider as friends. They contributed. Others I work with that I would have thought would, didn't. And lots of people just at random because they all "know" someone with MS, and believe this is a worthy cause. I am impressed. Our company does a $ for $ match to chartible contributions made to qualifying entities. So a good amount of my fellow employee's donations were also matched by the company. So I think I feel somewhat humbled by my fellow employees and how much they were willing to give. Some of them to a cause for a complete stranger. Pretty cool really. M was a little surprised too. She says it all has to do with that I work with a different class of people than she does. She was happy to get a dollar here or a couple bucks there from the people she works with.
I guess what impresses me is that people who are connected - inlaws, my family (with the exception that my mother did donate, and my daughter who is a struggling student and I didn't expect her to) didn't, couldn't, wouldn't bother to come up with even a $5 to contribute. Sad really.