Hi friends! I'm entering my 4th decade in May (whoa) and would like nothing more than to kick it off with something meaningful. I started working with veterans and people with physical disabilities over 4 years ago now and it has been some of the most rewarding work I've ever done - on many levels. I'm most grateful for having met and connected with incredible people who have opened my mind and heart and given me new perspectives on life in profound ways. For my 40th birthday, I'd like to give back, pay it forward, and share the love. I hope you will join me to celebrate in this way! I have the great honor of working on the project below, bringing 3 wounded vets on a transformative experience kayaking the Grand Canyon. If I've added a smile, happy memory, experience, opportunity, anything to your life in my 40 years, it would mean the world to me if you helped me pay it forward to this amazing team of guys and help make this the most amazing experience possible for them. This is my birthday party so please share the link! How about with 40 people?! I'd love to get to $400 or $4000 for my 40th!! Plus, for every $5 contribution, you are entered into a mega raffle so it's a win-win-win!!!! :) Thank you for your support and birthday love!!!
Joy Merchants wrote -
Donate and you could win!
Team River Runner (TRR) believes that every wounded and disabled veteran deserves the opportunity to embrace new challenges, invoke leadership, and promote camaraderie. TRR provides an outlet to fulfill these beliefs – inviting wounded and disabled war veterans and their families to participate in adaptive paddling programs. www.teamriverrunner.org
A modern universal question is, "How do I create and cultivate meaning in my life?" TRR is supporting a project that answers that question by demonstrating that one of the most effective ways to find value is to personally create it. Making things hard on purpose, like pushing yourself on outdoor adventures and immersing oneself in wilderness to problem solve, can prepare us for when life is involuntarily difficult. When you decide to critically observe your surroundings and practice risk assessment, you are better suited to choose the path to well-being in daily life.
We are fundraising to take three wounded veterans on an adaptive kayak journey down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Lonnie Bedwell, a veteran who completely lost his eyesight, was the first blind person to kayak the Grand Canyon. This will be the first ascent down the Canyon for Purple Heart wounded veterans Aaron Howell, who lost both legs above the knee and several fingers in Afghanistan to an IED, and Russell Davies, who suffered a traumatic brain injury from an IED and created a program to raise awareness regarding the struggles that many veterans face with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The journey will be documented and turned into a short film so the story can be shared and inspire others how to take action to create positive and enduring transformation in our lives and those around us. We appreciate your support to help raise funds to send these vets down the Grand Canyon... following one of TRR's mottos - to get more "Butts in Boats!"
As a gift for your donations to support this project, every $5 you donate gives you one entry to win an incredible kayak package!! Donations can be accepted at any time. The raffle portion runs through 6/15/2017. The Grand Prize package includes:
- a Jackson Kayak Zen Whitewater Boat
- a Werner Powerhouse Paddle
- a Kokatat Hydrus Stoke Dry Top
- an Astral YTV PFD (personal flotation device)
- a pair of Astral Shoes (your choice of model)
- a Snapdragon Spray Skirt
- a Sweet Protection helmet
- a delicious goodie package from Clif Bar
- Plus a one-day guided kayak clinic on the New River with ACE Adventure Resort! (Travel not included.)
Winner will be chosen at random at the end of the campaign from all entries through 11:59PM on 6/15/17. The winner will be notified on Friday 6/16/17 by phone or email based on the contact information provided at the time of donation. Winner must reside in the USA. If the donation was anonymous or no contact information is given, a new winner will be chosen. The winning name will also be posted on this website and on social media shortly after the drawing. Odds of winning are based on the number of donations received. There is no limit to the number of entries per person. The prize value is approximately $2,680. (Actual price based on models and sizes chosen by winner.) The IRS does not allow raffle tickets to be a tax-deductible contribution. If you would like to make part of or your full donation to support this project as a donation without receiving an entry to the raffle, please notate this in the comment section. In this case, your donation is tax deductible. If there is no notation, you will automatically be entered for 1 entry per each $5 donated. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. If the winner declines the prize, another winner will be chosen at random. The winner will be required to submit IRS Form 5754 stating his or her identity and will receive a Form W-2G from Team River Runner. Raffle permit is through the State of Maryland.