This time last year I was gearing up for my first race (and by "gearing up," I mean plotting everything I was going to eat). It was a 10K in Central Park with Jen and a few other friends, and I absolutely was not calling myself a "runner." In fact, I still hated running, something that has been well-documented on this very blog. I even went so far as to search for an "I Hate Running" tank top to wear and make Jen a little crazy.
But I ran it, had a blast, and a few months later ran a half marathon. I still wasn't calling myself a runner, but I stopped hating running. I daresay I even enjoyed the majority of my runs to my utter surprise and horror.
Now, despite years and years of adamantly stating that I would NEVER EVER run a marathon, I am signed up for the Chicago Marathon. And I've become one of those people I hate -- talking about running all the time. Between running and my cats, I am the actual worst. But I do promise to take lots of Chicago pictures and write some bomb-ass posts afterward (probably mostly about food).
Anyway, I am using my powers for good and raising money for a charity while I train for the race. In case I don't have your personal e-mail and/or got it wrong and you weren't on my list, my (hopefully entertaining) plea for donations is below.
The Actual Worst
So this one time I donated money to NYU. This is not something I would ordinarily do.
While I always thought I'd grow up to be rich and famous and therefore happily philanthropic, I'm still paying my student loans and probably will be until I'm 80, so making financial donations to NYU already happens once a month anyway. Also, I very much resent the fact that every time I get a snail mail plea for donations to NYU, the "minimum" donation is $250, which I guess makes sense given some of NYU's alumni, but I am not an Olsen twin, I am not Billy Joel's daughter, and I am definitely not Anne Hathaway. Not to mention, at last check, NYU was the second biggest property owner in New York City (second to the City of New York itself), so, as the owner of approximately nothing, I just don't really think they need my help (which would undoubtedly be of the significantly-less-than-$250 variety).
But this one time, my own school within NYU, Gallatin, was asking for money for a student scholarship fund. They were specifically asking for $18.31 to commemorate the year Albert Gallatin helped found NYU. $18.31 I could afford, so I donated.
I have never regretted anything more.
This was a few years ago, and still, they won't leave me alone. In addition to the "minimum" donation requests, they spam my e-mail, and most egregiously, task poor innocent freshmen with calling me CONSTANTLY. I feel bad for them because they don't know that someday they will be just like me -- looking at a lifetime worth of student loans while bitterly screening daily calls from a 212 number.
All this is to say that now I have taken on the role of the aforementioned pathetic freshman pipsqueak. I have the unenviable task of asking YOU for money (not for my student loans, don't worry). But here's the thing -- you won't regret donating!
I've made the potentially catastrophic decision to run my first (and possibly only) full marathon. It's the Chicago Marathon, it's October 9, and I am using it as an opportunity to raise money for charity while I train.
As some of you know, in Baltimore, I volunteer for a sexual assault and domestic violence crisis organization call Turnaround. They do amazing work -- everything from advocacy to legal work to fighting human trafficking to community education to therapy -- but as is often the case with non-profits, they're on a shoestring budget relying largely on volunteers and donations to fight a massive, complex, systemic problem.
So when choosing an organization to raise money for in Chicago, I opted for the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network, which is not one, but ELEVEN organizations in Chicago that, like Turnaround, provide services to domestic violence victims of all backgrounds. Ridiculously cool, right?
So, why did I pick Chicago?
1. It is flat, and I am a wimp. This is no time for challenging myself (further).
2. Deep dish pizza.
3. My bud Emily will be running it too, so she can peel me off the ground and rescue me.
And why should you donate?
2. You love me.
3. If I reach a certain amount I get a soft hoodie. I promise to give you hugs while wearing said soft hoodie.
4. While I will never be fast enough to place in a race, I can most certainly be annoying enough to raise the most out of anyone on my team, and if you donate, you'll be enabling my insatiable competitiveness in that way.
5. PRIZES. No really. If you donate less than $25, I will send* you something cool. If you donate more than $25, you'll get something awesome. If you donate more than $50, you'll get something awesomer. And if you donate $100 or more, you will get something MIND-BLOWING (probably not because let's be real, if I had the money to buy many people mind-blowing gifts, then I should probably just be donating it, right? Still, it'll be GOOD. Trust.)
6. I will take you off this email list** which will receive monthly e-mails until the race as reminders because when people ask me for money, I fully intend on donating, but sometimes forget.
7. Shoutouts! Unless you are humble and donate anonymously, I will do some group social media shoutouts for my donors, and these shoutouts will be awesome. You can also be humble and ask me not to, but where is the fun in that? Seriously, join me in my diabolical plot to shame everyone who hasn't yet donated.
8. It is tax-deductible. Fuck the man!
9. It is a very good thing to do. Duh. Your money will go to an awesome organization doing really wonderful things in the world in a city that, like any other city, can use the help.
So how about this Mother's Day week, you honor the strong women who birthed your asses, and donate some cheese to help out some other ladies who need a little help?
My fundraiser page is here! Please feel more than free to pass this e-mail on too. Thank you all in advance for being the spectacular people I know you are (#jewishguilttrip)!
*If I have your mailing address or you give it to me, I'll send something tangible. If not, it'll be of the e-mail persuasion. But either way, you'll get something wholly rad.
**I'm sorry if we haven't chatted in a while and now I'm hitting you up for money. Let's get coffee sometime! I reached into the deepest archives of Gmail auto-complete, so basically, if we've ever e-mailed, you're getting this. That is unless you're someone I corresponded with in my journalism days. Like the professional mascots I once interviewed. (Although how cool would it be if Mr. Met donated to my fundraiser?)
If you've made it this far, here's a reward in the form of a picture of Beau's face when I told him I plan to run 26.2 miles in one run.