"We decided to align ourselves with Kids Haven, a Gauteng Based Non-Profit Organisation to champion their cause, raise awareness and ultimately raise money on their behalf.
Nick and I had already committed to riding the Epic, however after an initial discussion with Susan Daly from Kids Haven, I approached Nick with the idea. Without hesitation our team was in, we would do what little we could to help Kids Haven.
Unbeknown to us at the time, this simple conversation would multiply our sense of purpose, team recognition during the event, and our sense of achievement and fulfilment on completion.
Support for Jawbone 4 Kids Haven, as our team was named, was extraordinary. Each day at the Epic there are at least 3 waterpoints where the riders can stop and replenish their food and water. These are mini villages where interested spectators flock to view the elite riders, their loved ones and to observe the goings on of this mad bunch taking place in this event. Without fail, as we approached each of these stations we were singled out as championing Kids Haven. Spectators fed off this, motivating Nick and I, fuelling our resolve which at times needed a boost. This special attention would repeat itself at the finish line each day, where crowds swelled to witness the riders coming in and the announcers gave special attention to Kids Haven.
Fundraising can be daunting, the unease of asking people for money, the fear of rejection. We had set ourselves a target to raise R 150 000. We agreed, we would not approach individuals, but that during the course of daily business, we would approach our corporate contacts to assist. Simple conversations at the end of daily meetings generated interest. Interest in our training, in the Epic; interest in Kids Haven and the work they do. Interest lead to awareness, awareness to commitment; we were raising much needed money. The process was not daunting at all, people warmed to the fact that we were trying to assist a cause such as this. The process was immensely fulfilling and rewarding.
We completed the Epic, spirits high, knowing that we had achieved what we had set out to do. There were difficult moments, which are to be expected in an event of this nature, however what was unexpected was the sense of purpose, the interest and goodwill that surrounded our efforts.
We finished on a cloud knowing that what had set out as a personal conquest become so much more. Knowing our efforts have touched and motivated others, directly through the funds raised, and indirectly by providing inspiration to others to replicate what we have done.
I would encourage anyone considering embarking on a similar journey to think about partnering with an organisation like Kids Haven. The intangible rewards make the efforts that much more fulfilling. It’s wonderful to have a journey with meaning."