How do you say thank you after a fantastic year? Not only did Kelly Mathews initiate a personal challenge to test her endurance, she headed online to find a way to give back to the causes she cares deeply about. This is Kelly’s giving story.
Not too long after the clock struck midnight this past New Year’s Eve, I found myself reflecting on 2015 and one word came to mind over and over again: thankful. There are many reasons why 2015 stands out in my mind as being a positive, happy, and prosperous year, but two reasons stood out amongst the rest and I wanted to say thanks!
So who am I thanking? I’m thanking Seneca College and the Oak Ridges Trail Association (ORTA), two organizations that are deeply personal and supported me in 2015. The trail is there for me on days when I need a break from the everyday noise around me, a respite from a very hectic world. Use of the trail is free but it’s not free for the ORTA to maintain it – so they need our support! Seneca College supported the development of my first book last year, Eaton Hall: Pride of King Township, a non-fiction book on the history of their land in King City, and I wanted to help be part of shaping Seneca’s future in King.
Before I started my fundraising journey to give back and say thank you, I wondered how I could go about raising money for two registered Canadian charities without having to redirect my supporters to two separate websites. I did what most people do and Googled that very question, the answer: CanadaHelps! Thanks to CanadaHelps, I was not only able to direct funds to these two registered charities, but I was able to take it one step further and direct my supporters to a specific fund set up by each charity. For Seneca College, the fund I’m raising money for is their ‘King Campus Expansion Campaign’, and for the ORTA, funds are directed to their ‘Experience the Moraine’ fund.
As part of my fundraiser, my personal challenge is to hike the entire 300 km of the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail (hence the title of my fundraiser: ORMT300) from Caledon in the West to Trent Hills in the East and if successful, this distance hike will be the fastest trek across the Oak Ridges Moraine ever made! In order to accomplish this, I will have to hike a marathon a day (42 km per day) for seven days across some pretty undulating topography while carrying a 38 lb pack with me the entire time, and at night, I will be camping off the trail.
My training has begun and on those very cold, early weekend mornings when I’m about to hit the trails for a long, lonely, distance training hike, I think about those that have already made a donation online and it reminds me why I’m doing this. I’ve only been on CanadaHelps for 18 days but I’m already at 55 percent of my fundraising goal with five months to go. The platform is easy to use and it gives the entire initiative an overall professional look and feel. I believe this has a direct impact on the confidence of those making a contribution.
Both of these registered charities have a profound impact on the communities that they serve, and CanadaHelps has made it easy for me to say “thank you!”
To learn more about the Oak Ridges Trail Association, visit their charity profile page, or to learn more about Seneca College, visit their charity profile page. To learn more about the ORMT300, visit Kelly’s Fundraising Page >>