This Sunday, I'm running my fourth consecutive New York Marathon. For every year but my first, I've performed this brutal ritual to raise money for the Pat Tillman Foundation -- it's a phenomenal organization that distributes scholarship funds to veterans and their families. As of yesterday, though, I've decided to suspend my fundraising for Team Tillman in order to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy relief.
Thousands of folks up and down the Northeast Corridor are displaced. Homes and lives have been torn apart. Hell, the marathon was almost completely cancelled. It's a grim backdrop for what is traditionally one of the most upbeat days of the year in New York.
As a participant, I have mixed feelings: New York City could benefit from a positive large-scale event to evoke solidarity and stimulate the local economy, but it will also undoubtedly place some unneeded burdens on systems essential to recovery from a devastating hurricane.
When I kicked off my fundraising for the Pat Tillman Foundation, my goal was $5,000. I was just shy of hitting that goal until last week when I learned my company is matching donations to 501(c)3s for employees in 2012. This put me comfortably over my goal.
I love the Tillman Foundation, and as much as I would love to blow out my goal, I'm suspending my fundraising efforts for Team Tillman and asking you consider making a contribution to AmeriCares this year. I was able to join the AmeriCares New York Marathon CrowdRise team at the last minute, which allows you to donate to this page with all the funds going to AmeriCares.
I've set a modest goal of $1,000. I say "modest" because the marathon is in less than 72 hours. If we hit the $1,000 together, I'll personally match it and steer my Yelp match to AmeriCares. In other words, for every dollar you donate, two additional dollars will go to this critical effort. AmeriCares specializes in providing immediate responses to emergency medical needs; they consistently receive high rankings for efficiency from Charity Navigator, an independent, non-profit organization that evaluates American charities.
I already know this year's marathon will be bittersweet. Help me off-set the burden the marathon's host city is assuming as they grapple with Sandy's aftermath. Together, we can cross the finish line with pride.
Please consider donating.