Running a marathon is a serious human feat. It takes months of training to ensure that you are both physically and mentally able to push your body to its limit, but the sense of personal achievement and wonder you can inspire within others as you cross the finish line is– invariably– hard to duplicate.
TST is privileged to work with Meredythe Goethe who has been donating every mile that she trains for the NYC Marathon to TST in support of our Kili4Kids Campaign. Read about what motivates her to give back, and how she drives herself to achieve her goals– both on the track and beyond!
Q: How did you first get involved with TST
A: The director of TST, Bekka, and I went to undergraduate school together in Boston. During our last semester, I remember Bekka talking about this organization that she was moving to Africa for and how excited she was to be so immediately involved.
It’s been amazing to see the huge strides TST has made throughout the years and to stay connected to this organization through their fundraising efforts!
Q: Why did you decide to fundraise for the children and families of Nkoaranga?
A: Fundraising goes beyond raising money; I wish I could add several zeros to my checks, but it’s also about raising awareness that these kids and families need resources that we can’t imagine going without. This particular fundraising campaign was an even bigger motivator because I’m training for the NYC Marathon and now, these miles can add up to something that’s about more than myself.
Q: What do you focus on when trying to raise money for your Kili4Kids campaign?
A: Every step counts. And when steps equal awareness and funds, it’s about pushing yourself to go a little bit further every day.
Q: When you’re in a donation slump, how do you turn things around?
A: We’ve all been there: your friends and family have already donated but you haven’t reached your goal. I recently reposted my fundraising page to update everyone on my progress, and it can be fun to invite locals to races so they can see me cross the finish line and add up the miles to the Mt. Kilimanjaro summit!
Q: What advice would you give to people who get discouraged during their campaign?
A: It’s hard, no question. It helps me to have a goal and then a push goal (summit, then return down to basecamp) so that you are always looking beyond the finish line to the next goal. Your network will see that you are committed, and that kind of dedication and enthusiasm is contagious!
It was pouring the morning of my most recent race and I was half-hoping it would be cancelled. This was to be the most challenging race of my year with two of Central Park’s steepest inclines. But I showed up, ready to run, knowing that I wasn’t going to meet my halfway mile goal in time if I skipped the race. We all shivered waiting at the starting line in the rain, and right before the gun time at 8AM, the sun came out and suddenly, humidity was at 98%! Between my soaked sneakers andthe thick air, I wanted to give up so many times, but had to keep my goal in front of me. I couldn’t believe the finisher clock when showed that I had just beaten my person best time! It was so motivating to know that I was running for something bigger than myself.
Focus on what you can do, even if it’s as small as taking just one more step. And do it again until you arrive. Once you do, set your next path.
Q: What are some creative ways you get people to donate to your page?
A: I send people photos of my before/after race pictures (and race pictures from years ago) so they can see that I’m putting my words into actions. I’ve received specific pledges for wearing t-shirt for the organizations of my friends or for beating my PB times on races they are sponsoring.
Q: How does it feel now that you’ve reached the ‘virtual’ summit? Any plans to come out in the future?
A: When you train or race, it can be all-too-easy to only focus on your current steps and not the bigger picture of your goal or what your races are leading up to. I didn’t realize I was so close to the virtual summit until my rainy day race pushed me to the top!
Completing an actual summit of Mt.Kilimanjaro has been a goal of mine for many years now, as it would give me the chance to donate my time to The Small Things and also be my first Seven Sister summit. Three great reasons to visit and say thanks in-person for all that you do for children and families! –Meredythe
There are less than 2 weeks left to help support the Kili4Kids Campaign and we’re just $5,000 short of our goal! Help us provide chance, not charity, to the children and families of Nkoaranga by offering them alternative, family-based models that aim to strengthen families. By creating and testing these new models, gathering resources and shifting the behavior patterns and perceptions of individuals when they think of how to support a community, we can all make real change, together!