Hurray! It’s Tuesday!
Why on Earth would I be so excited about a Tuesday. I mean, why did I stop to write a blog about the second workday of this week? It appears as though I may have finally lost my mind… Well, to be honest, it is one of the signature days on the calendar: Giving Tuesday.
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. And, one of the best ways to get involved in your own community is to make a special, Giving Tuesday gift to your local chapter of Team River Runner.
When you look at giving to a charity, there are three things that you need to examine before you pull out your credit card: the charity’s mission, the charity’s efficiency, and personal impact on the population it serves.
TRR’s Mission: To create an environment of healthy adventure, recreation and camaraderie for healing active duty, veteran service members and their families through adaptive kayaking.
TRR’s Efficiency: For every dollar you donate to TRR, just under 90-cents goes directly to programming. That means that you can be certain that your donation is going directly to those who need your help.
Personal Impact: Read what TRR has done for one Veteran.
I served in the Army during the Desert Storm era as a Paratrooper. Following several injuries and one particularly traumatic event, I left the Army to continue my education. I got divorced, worked on my studies, fell in love again and remarried, and started a family. After several relatively normal and uneventful years as a civilian, I had to have one knee replaced, began treatment for chronic post-traumatic arthritis, and other pain-related maladies. And, to top it all off, symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) began to emerge again…this time with a vengeance.
I had been a kayaker and canoeist prior to joining the Army and started to get back into it. On a complete fluke, I discovered a chapter of Team River Runner about 45-minutes away and went to their pool sessions and trips to get my skills back. Along the way I met some amazing people! People who I felt had overcome so much more than I was battling at the time really reached out to me and made me feel welcome. They laughed and joked with me, made me feel welcome, helped me to see that there was some light at the end of this tunnel.
TRR became a vehicle for my healing. They saw value in my contributions even though I am just a fair kayaker. They reached out to me and helped me understand that this was so much more than being able to roll a boat or run a rapid – this was about building relationships and about healing. As they got to know me better, I think that they saw for me to really heal, I needed to have a new challenge that I could overcome.
So here I am – Susquehanna Valley Chapter Coordinator. You guessed it! This impact story is my own.
You see, TRR is about everyone’s healing, everyone’s engagement, everyone’s experience. I have grown as much, if not more than, many others in our chapter. I have been inspired by the challenges I watch other members overcome. The people who make up this chapter have walked beside me through some of my toughest days – they have given me a safe space in which to heal.
So, when you think about charitable giving this year, think about my story along with so many others that have been told by members of our organization. Help us to help those who need it.