Ways to help your 3 Day walker
As we get closer and closer to the Atlanta 3 Day walk, the importance of support from friends, family, #3DayTweeps, and total strangers gets even more important. And while donations are a huge way to help, there are other things you can do to reduce your walker’s stress level and help them have a great experience.
But first, a note about donations, since these are one of the most stressful parts for many walkers (me included!). How can you help make this painless?
–Donate online. Every walker has a personal fundraising page. You can search by first and last name, or even partial names. Or ask them and I’m sure they will provide a direct link to their page for you. The official Komen 3 Day website is secure and safe. It credits to the walker’s account immediately (which is really nice as we get down to the wire!), and it will give you a receipt for your taxes, since donations are tax-deductible.
—IF you decide you would prefer to mail a check, there are a couple things to be aware of. All checks need to be mailed with a donation form to make sure they are credited properly. Otherwise, the coaches may or may not be able to track down your donation, but either way, it creates major hassles for everyone. You can either give the check made out to Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure to your walker, who will then fill out the form and mail it in themselves (I prefer this way so I know it’s done right and exactly when it’s mailed) or you can print the form from the link at the bottom of their fundraising page (or ask them for one) and send it together with your check, following the instructions on the form. This is what the form will look like:
Mailed donations CAN take up to 4 weeks to post to a walker’s account. They usually don’t (mine average 1-2 weeks), but making sure they have the form will definitely speed up the process and make things easier on the 3 Day staff. They have 15 cities worth of walkers that they are handling. The easier we can make it for them, the faster every one gets properly credited.
Ok…that’s all I can think of for donations…other than the obvious: Make one! No amount is too small!
Anyway. What else can you do? Here are a few ideas when the money to donate just isn’t in the budget:
–Offer to go on a training walk. Or, if you can’t imagine spending your whole day walking as the training miles pile up (the 18/15 weekend is soon for Atlanta on the 24 week schedule!), see about jumping in for PART of a walk. Many walkers use loops to make sure that they have access to potties and drink refills, or you can walk out a couple miles together, and then walk back to your car while the walker keeps going. But the long miles can get lonely sometimes, and we sometimes feel like we are neglecting family and friends in order to train. If you can combine the 2 and spend time together, it’s a lot less stress trying to cram everything in.
–Come to Opening and/or Closing Ceremonies! This is a GREAT way to see what the event is about, show your support, and really get a feel for what is the 3 Day community. Atlanta released the info yesterday:
Friday, October 22Lake Lanier Islands
7000 Holiday Road Buford, GA 30518
5:00 a.m. – Crew members should arrive.
6:00 a.m. – 6:30 a.m. – Walkers should arrive.
7:30 a.m. – Opening Ceremony begins with community stretching.
Sunday, October 24
755 Hank Aaron Dr. SW
Atlanta, GA 30315
–See if your walker has any events left that could use help! We often set up tables at various places (grocery stores, Walmart, etc) and they can be lonely if it’s just one person…not to mention the inability to step away for a snack or potty break! Offer to help for an hour or 2, or even just deliver some lunch and give a 5 minute respite. And while you are there, send over anyone you see and tell them what the walker is doing.
–On the same note, help the walker publicize any and all events AND their donation info. Re-post links for them on Facebook and Twitter. Forward their fundraising update email to your entire address book. If they have an event, tell all your friends to stop by. A busy table gets more attention than an empty one…people want to know why everyone is so interested and will come over. Our networks are sometimes limited, and the more publicity we can get from our friends, the better!
–Check the Spectator Information website about 2 weeks before the event for cheering station information! While the exact route isn’t publicized ahead of time, there are certain locations that are set up for people to come out and cheer the walkers on. You have no idea how important this can be to a walker. So make a sign, grab a couple bags of ice (the walkers will love your forever…unless it’s cold and raining—then grab a box of coffee for them!), and come out and cheer for everyone.
–Write your walker a letter that they can pick up at camp! It’s great to be able to walk over and have letters of love and support from your family and friends after a long day of walking! For Atlanta, send letters (no boxes or packages, please!) to:
3-Day for the Cure
ATTN: INSERT NAME OF PARTICIPANT
12195 Highway 92, Suite 114-392
Woodstock, GA 30188
–Most importantly, be understanding. This event is important to all walkers for one reason or another. Maybe they lost a loved one. Maybe they themselves are a survivor. Maybe it’s just something they do because they want to make a difference in the world. But it *IS* important to them, so when they opt to spend a whole weekend walking to prepare, offer to come along, or set up a cheering station on the training walk, or help map out a route that goes by your house for a pit stop.
Now get out there and support a walker!
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