Yes, I am a triwife, but I am so much more.  This fall, like most years in recent memory, I have spent much of my time working on fundraisers for great organizations.  We, as a family, believe in giving back and we look for causes that are dear to our hearts.  I sit on the Director’s Council of the UT Preforming Arts Center, volunteer at the kids school in various ways, assist friends on projects they work on, and volunteer my time to organizations that are starting  projects.   I do focus on community involvement and matching funds as much as possible, helping draft plans and auctions.

So what has been on my docket most recently?

  • I started with an annual fundraiser for my kids school; the annual potted mum sale for project graduation.
  • I wrapped up a bike drive for the World Bike Relief, which we worked on as part of the Ironman Foundation.  We were very fortunate to have wonderful friends and colleagues who supported this organization by donating bikes.  It was just in time for the Trek matching fund, so all money raised was doubled.
  • And, various other projects that I believe in.

What drives me to do this?  My belief that giving back is not something you just do, but it is a responsibility.  As more than one of The TriWives is involved in fundraising, we thought it would be a great idea to present this topic as a series.  We will take you through not only what we do and how we do it, but provide you links, forms, and ideas that we have used over the years and found very helpful and successful.  We also have some great people we work with who would love to contribute and who help make all our projects come together.

While on the subject of giving back, I would like to share a thought for the holiday season.  With Hanukkah right around the corner and Christmas not far behind, there is a tradition in our family.  Ever since our twins were newborns – when donations were just a few dollars given trihubby was a PhD student, I worked for a non-profit, and the cost of caring for two premature infants, i.e. special diapers was extremely expensive – we have believed in the spirit of the holiday season year round and do what we can, when we can.

So, with that holiday gift giving seed planted, now is the perfect time to start thinking about a cause that will mean something to your athlete, your family, and others you give gifts to.  One trick I’ve learned is to listen and watch during the year to determine what our children are interested in.  Here is an example.  Our daughter spent the summer in Ghana in a very small village and doing some traveling.

photo

Syd volunteering in Ghana.

Most of her time was spent at the Trinity Yard School, which is a free high school for children to learn English and more.  Most children do not get past grade school and high schools are hard to find and impossible to afford.  The majority of the students have an hour or more walk each way to get to and from school.  My daughter came back worried about two things; first, the school getting more bikes and second, how to get these kids post-high school educations.   She and a few friends are writing a fundraising plan to try and get a foundation started to get these kids to college.  But, we want her to take that journey, so for Hanukkah this year we are working with  the school’s director to meet their needs both for bikes and for other items, all in our daughters’ honor.  This gift will mean so much more to her than any the newest edition iPad or a new sweater.

My triathlete is easy –  either tri-related or one of our so many great causes.  We are just filled with holiday gift gifting tips this year, so watch for a list in our holiday gift guide coming this month.

-DANA

 WHAT CAUSES ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU?