For it is in giving that we receive...
~St. Francis of Assisi
I met my friend Dee in 2010 along with her best friend and husband Marc. Dee is a registered nurse at a local San Diego hospital while Marc spends his days as a contractor.
Together Dee and Mark were training to ride in the California Coast Classic, an annual 8-day bicycle ride to support the Arthritis Foundation by helping to raise money and awareness.
Each Saturday, during the spring and summer months, Dee and Marc would meet up with our group to train together for our big ride in the autumn.
One such Saturday, Dee was noticeably absent and when I asked Marc, he casually mentioned that Dee would most likely not be riding with us for several weeks. When I asked him "why" he told me that Dee’s rheumatoid arthritis had begun to flare up again and that she was in so much pain that it was unbearable for her just to walk lest ride a bike.
I was floored... she seemed like she was in such good shape just a few weeks ago... and in fact... I never even suspected that Dee suffered from arthritis... she was so young and vibrant.
How could it possible attack someone like Dee?
As I would later learn, today there are over 50 million, doctor diagnosed, American adults who suffer from at least one form of arthritis. In addition to the adults, there are over 300,000 children, under the age of 18, who suffer from juvenile arthritis. Arthritis affects more people than heart disease, cancer or diabetes.
Arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability costing the U.S. economy more than $128 billion dollars each year.
Each year, arthritis accounts for 40 million outpatient visits, 1 million hospitalizations, and over 7 thousand deaths.
While you might believe that Arthritis is an "old person’s" disease, over 2/3 of all arthritis sufferers are under the age of 65.
Arthritis can strike seemingly healthy individuals at any time... Dee is a perfect example of how someone can appear healthy at one moment and become debilitated in the next.
In 2010, I was invited to participate in a bicycle ride down the coast of California, 535 miles over the span of 8 days to raise money and awareness for the Arthritis Foundation.
I found that people participating in this ride generally fall into one of two categories:
- Bicyclists who want to spend 8 days riding along one of the most scenic routes in the entire world... but couldn’t care less what the cause is...
- Supporters of the Arthritis Foundation who want to raise money and awareness for the prevention and cure of arthritis... but could care less what the event is...
I must honestly admit that prior to 2010, I was of the former group... not the latter.
Then in 2010, I met people like Dee and Marc and my entire perspective changed.
That year I rode together with 300 other riders in the 10th annual California Coast Classic... many of whom were severe sufferers of arthritis but somehow found the strength and courage to ride the entire 535 miles.
Dee was supposed to be one of those riders but fate had something else in store for her.
Since 2010, I have met some incredible people... people who try their best to live normal lives despite the excruciating pain they must sometimes endure. I have had the opportunity to talk with kids, their parents, and other adults who have tried their best to go on each day despite their affliction.
The Arthritis foundation uses the money raised in this event for three main purposes:
- Funding research grants to find better treatments and one day a cure for arthritis
- Educating patients on how to better control their arthritis through community outreach programs
- Advocating on behalf of people, arthritis sufferers at all levels of government
This year I have decided to once again ride for the Arthritis Foundation.
My goal this year is to again raise $5,000 for the Arthritis Foundation from direct donations which, and through matching, will actually be $10,000.
So what exactly is my proposal to you...
Last year, I presented the readers of the OptiFuse blog with a unique opportunity to win 50,000 Southwest Airlines Rapid Reward points along with several other consolation prizes.
The grand prize was won by Ken M., a supporter in Chicago who used the points to visit his kids and grandchildren in California during the Christmas holidays (remember Southwest Airlines has no blackout dates).
This year I have decided to up the ante... making it a WIN-WIN-WIN proposition for all participants
On August Friday August 28, I will hold an opportunity drawing with a very limited amount of entries (100 to be exact) for all those people who donate $50 or more.
The Grand Prize is again 50,000 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points.
Now depending on how you book your travel... these points could be as many as 8-10 one-way trips on SWA... or two tickets to California on Christmas Eve.
In addition to the grand prize... I have decided to offer a 2nd prize of 25,000 Rapid Rewards Points as well as a 3rd prize of 10,000 Rapid Rewards Points.
In addition, to the prizes above... there will be 30 additional prizes including gift cards to restaurants, movies, iTunes, and department stores.
THIS DRAWING IS LIMITED TO 100 ENTRIES
Therefore there is at least a 1 in 3 chance of winning some prize if all the entries are sold... (last year there was 56 donors so the odds were better than 1 in 2 of receiving a prize)
To donate please click or copy and paste the following link into your browser:
(Please make sure that you click on the "give now" button rather than making a "general donation" otherwise I won’t see that you have donated in order to credit you with an opportunity entry.)
For each $50.00 donation you make, you will receive 1 entry to the drawing.
The Arthritis Foundation is a fully recognized 503c charity so your donation is fully tax deductible and you will receive a letter from the Arthritis Foundation for tax purposes.
THE BONUS MULTIPLIER EFFECT
In addition to your generous donation... for every dollar raised, OptiFuse will match your donation dollar for dollar.
Therefore... doing the math... for every $50 donated by you... $100 will be donated to the Arthritis Foundation...
I know that many of the readers have their own specific causes that they support... be it... Breast Cancer, Scouting, The Cancer Society, Doctors without Borders, or any other worthwhile charitable organization.
These are wonderful organizations that do some incredible work both here and abroad.
Therefore... if you choose to support the Arthritis Foundation with a donation... I will personally make a matching contribution to your favorite 503c non-profit charity (up to $1,000).
So let’s sum up my proposal:
For every $50.00 tax-deductible donation to the Arthritis Foundation -
- You will receive 1 entry to the opportunity drawing for prizes
- Your donation will be matched by OptiFuse giving your donation a 2 for 1 multiplier effect.
- Your personal charity will receive an equal donation by me personally
You win... the Arthritis Foundation wins... your personal charity wins...
Now I suppose I could just write a check and be done with it... but raising money is only one of the two purposes of this ride... the other expressed purpose of the ride is to People like Dee and millions of others like her...
I’m riding so that one day no one ever again will feel the pain of arthritis...
Thank you for your support of OptiFuse where we are humbled to be given the opportunity to help others who need it.
Jim Kalb President
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Website - www.optifuse.com
Blog - www.optifuse.blogspot.com
Twitter - @OptiFuse