How do we connect philanthropy with our everyday lives?
Philanthropy was always an ever-present part of my life. From my earliest childhood memories, I can vividly remember actively joining my family in charitable causes and events. My grandmother and my parents were not ones to only make monetary contributions; they were also active participants in the organizations in which they felt passionate. They held positions of national and international president for various organizations, and held board and committee positions for signature events. And I can remember the feeling around doing good things for others. There is something palpable about knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
Personally, I love anything and everything that can serve more than one purpose. This is something that was passed down to me from my late father for sure. I always think of the pants that he loved most-- his favorite for travel. He would get on the plane wearing pants, and once we landed in our tropical destination, he could zip off the bottoms to make them shorts. A perfect metaphor for how he lived his life. Now I realize, it is because of him, that I approach work, philanthropy, and life with this level of alignment- and it has made all the difference.
For instance, I love to be physically active. For that reason, I have always gravitated towards a physical challenge that had a charitable component. If I ran a half marathon, I did it for a charity. Two birds, one stone! When I began working in financial services, one of the first things I did was join the Joe DiMaggio Planned Giving committee. It was another way in which I could bring philanthropy into my life and incorporate it into my career.
I am sharing this with my Daily Drip community because it feels fitting, with only four days left to go before I cross the ocean with my fellow paddle boarders, or as we call ourselves, crossing crusaders, for the Piper’s Angels signature event, the Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis (CF). This entails an 80 mile paddle from Bimini to Lake Worth to raise awareness and money for the CF community. When I initially joined the event in April of 2021, I had no idea what I was signing up for. I believed that I was taking on a physical challenge doing something that I love-- paddle boarding-- while also raising money for an illness and community (one I knew very little about at the time).
The minimum fundraising requirement for each participant was $1,500. By the time I discovered the event and registered, I only had roughly 3 months to raise that money. I wasted no time, as I wanted to make sure that I could hit that minimum participation goal. After two days of sending out emails, texts, and DMs, I was well past the $1,500 mark. And by the time the event rolled around, I had raised nearly $12,000–the single highest individual fundraiser!
How did I do it, you ask? I saw an opportunity to bridge my worlds together.
In my working life, as an integral member of The Daily Drip as well as a financial services representative with Coastal Wealth, I had an opportunity to support my network of business owners in a unique and meaningful way. My business owner clients and contacts, particularly those in the health and wellness industries, were able to receive high-impact, targeted visibility for their brands, and Piper’s Angels and the Crossing received the critical resources they needed to achieve their mission. It literally fills up my soul to see how seamlessly everyone can win when we come together with the goal of helping others.
But beyond the business opportunities that blossomed and the new friendships formed, something really special unfolded through this experience.
It prompted the most surprising conversations, rekindled past relationships, and created such a sense of community. It was unbelievable to see my friends, family, clients, and colleagues rally around me. Overwhelmingly so. More than 200 people said yes to my request for a donation. They didn’t ignore my text or email, or keep scrolling through social media. That, to me, was more telling and more moving than the large donations.
I am abundantly proud of my 2021 campaign for more reasons than I can articulate. But the real reason is this: it proved to me what I could accomplish by sharing my passion and enthusiasm for something with others, and creating space for people to be a part of it.
I will soon attempt my second crossing and this time, the community of support has grown even bigger.
My daughter will be on my support boat, giving me the literal and mental fuel I need to make the journey. My husband and son will be volunteering on the beach at the Lake Worth Pier this Sunday June 26, 2022 as my fellow crossing crusaders and I make our landing.
I want to thank everyone from the Piper’s Angels and Crossing for CF community. I am so grateful to be surrounded by some of the most remarkable humans I have ever met, and to have the honor of witnessing the true courage, strength, and inspiration of Cystic Fibrosis warriors and their families. Bold in the face of fear. Inspire every breath. 80 miles of love.
Extra special thanks to the businesses who are supporting me both financially and personally in this endeavor, including Fusionary Formulas and Marla Jade Designs for donating a portion of sales to this amazing cause, and Gordon and Partners Law Firm for your corporate sponsorship of this event! Thank you to Ethos Wellness Pharmacy, Dr. Stephen Gorin, D.O., Defy Therapy and Wellness, Eat Me Guilt Free for supporting the training, nutrition, and preparation of the crossing crusaders!
And to those who have made a donation, small or large, I am humbled and grateful for all of the support. I have set my fundraising goal even higher this year because… why not! If you’d like to learn more about supporting my campaign and this epic adventure, please visit my page or connect with me directly. Here’s to paddle boarding 80 miles across the ocean on Sunday- let’s do this!