For close to five years now, I’ve been doing everything I can through my Operation Jack Autism Foundation to try to raise money for autism-related charities, one dollar at a time. It’s always one idea at a time, and the latest thing I’m going with is building a team at the Mount Desert Island Marathon in October. It’s a great race and all the money raised will be split between two autism-related charities in Maine: Springy Pond Farm and the Autism Society of Maine.
I’m offering what I think is about the best package for the lowest threshold out there: With just a $100 fundraising commitment, Operation Jack will provide you with a free entry into the race, an Operation Jack tech shirt and a custom hand-created canvas painting with an MDI Marathon theme created by members of L’Arche Mobile, an organization in Alabama that provides a group-living situation for mentally disabled adults. More on that in just a minute.
Springy Pond Farm’s mission is to provide therapy that is fun, meaningful, motivating and rewarding by engaging with animals, nature and purposeful activities. They support the mission of every learner with an individualized, holistic and measurable approach.
The Autism Society of Maine’s mission is to provide education and resources to support the valued lives of of individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.
I’m looking to build a team of 10 runners, who can participate in the half marathon, full marathon or marathon relay. My basic principal is that for something like this, the money I spend on race entries will turn into donations that are at least equal to the expense of those entries. The money going to Springy Pond and ASM will be at least equal to the money leaving Operation Jack.
But what’s always the case is that people aim for $100 and it’s so easy, they hit $200 without even trying. Or $300. I love turning money I’ve raised into even more money for autism charities that can use the resources. And on top of that, people who join the team get to run the race for free!
I haven’t run this race before, but I’m looking forward to it. Two of my friends and longtime Operation Jack supporters, Sarah Emerson and Danielle Sterling, rave about the scenery. They also warn of the hills but that’s OK. I’m also excited to be able to have Operation Jack participate with MDI because the race director, Gary Allen, is a charity-minded class act (and a great runner). Can’t argue about associating with people like him!
Here’s some shots of the course:
I can handle 26.2 of that, that’s for sure.
Also, as I mentioned, I like to give out a few goodies. As I mentioned, there’s the tech shirt.
And there’s also those canvas paintings I mentioned. I love them — I got one as an age-group award at a race in Alabama in 2010 that was put on as a fundraiser for L’Arche Mobile, which is part of an international federation of communities in which people with intellectual disabilities, can live, work and share their lives together. I order them every year as age-group awards for the Operation Jack Marathon and everybody loves them. It works as a fundraiser for L’Arche and the residents enjoy creating them.
Here’s a couple of pictures:
Join the team!
EDIT: THE TEAM HAS REACHED ITS 10-MEMBER CAPACITY. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT PARTICIPATING, PLEASE EMAIL ME AT SAM@OPERATIONJACK.ORG.
To join the team, it’s simple: Go to the Operation Jack MDI team fundraising page and create a page with a minimum goal of $100. It’s about a two-minute process. I’ll contact you shortly thereafter and get your information and get you registered in the race. I’ll also send you out a tech shirt. It’s going to be an on-your-honor thing to reach your goal. You don’t have to put a credit card in and nobody is going to charge you if you don’t hit it. I trust that you’ll get there.
If you have any questions, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve got 10 spots — hope to see you out there![subscribe2]