Team WinCo Paceline

Bike MS Fundraising Progress

Monday, April 8, 2013

Many Ways to Help...

I get a number of questions and comments from folks who would like to help with Bike MS fundraising, but may not have the resources to make a big financial commitment - or are generously donating to other causes. There are many quick, simple things you can do that do not require a financial commitment, but can really help us as we raise funds to help fight MS. Here are a few...

First off - any dollar amount helps - whether it's five dollars or five hundred dollars. Every donation is vital, and is very much appreciated no matter the amount. Having said that, there are many ways to help that do not require much time or any financial commitments on your part...

1) Help spread awareness on Facebook by "liking" the following pages. 
Liking these pages will help connect your network of friends to MS awareness. If some of your friends like those pages as well, those connections can exponentially grow. I guarantee, more of your friends are connected to MS than you're aware of - whether it be through family, friends, coworkers or acquaintances...

2) Like or comment on my MS-related posts on Facebook - Same rationale here... Here's a great example...

My friends JD and Lance have helped spread MS awareness by "liking" this Facebook link. Thanks fellas!
The above example helps me in a couple ways...the "likes" help spread awareness, but this link also happens to go to my blog, so the hope is that I'll also see some increased blog readership from this. Any post that is useful or interesting in terms of spreading MS awareness, or helpful for promoting MS events in our local communities are great posts to "like" as well.

3) Friend me on Facebook, if you haven't already...Yes, you may be exposed to all the other mundane stuff I post to Facebook - usually something about biking or craft beer...but I have found Facebook to be very effective for telling my friends what's going on with fundraising (not just mine, but other individuals and teams) and the fight against MS. Here I am...Rex Parker on Facebook...

4) Regularly visit or subscribe to this blog you're reading now, "Biking MS" - This is my main avenue for writing about Bike MS fundraising and training and subscribing is an easy way to keep up-to-date. One way to subscribe is to enter your email address in the "Get Automated Email Updates" box on the right-hand side of this blog page.

Another way is to set up an RSS feed in your reader or email client of choice. Here's an article on how to setup an RSS feed with Google Reader or Gmail. Other ways to help with the blog are to:
  • Share interesting blog posts using the buttons at the bottom of each post - Tweet, Email, Share on Facebook, etc
  • Use comments to join in the conversation!
5) Follow Me on Twitter - The vast majority of my tweets are Bike MS and MS-related. Check out my twitter feed, and if you find it at all interesting, give me a follow...Also, please "retweet" any of my tweets that you find particularly interesting. Similar to the Facebook "like" feature, this can really help spread awareness.

6) Share your story! Through fundraising for Bike MS last year, I have had many great discussions with folks who are impacted by MS - people who have lost family, like myself, or are otherwise impacted. Nearly every one of us are impacted in some way, shape or form - and I'll be reaching out to many of you to share your story via my blog in the coming weeks.

7) Walk or Bike in MS Society events! Last, but not least - get out and join some MS-related events! This is a great way to connect personally with the folks who are benefiting from this fundraising - there are some amazing people out there who are coping with this disease. People like my friend Gordy Myre (who I introduced you to last year) - Gordy has MS and rides a hand-powered bicycle in Bike MS every year! Gordy is also a perennial top fundraiser for Walk MS here in Boise. Or Michelle Jacobi, who has MS, and is running 160 miles this Spring (in one week's time!) in the MS Run the US fundraiser. Meeting these people has helped inspire me, and I think they'd inspire you as well.

Some events are free to participate in, such as Walk MS Boise on April 20th, 2013. If you're interested in coming out to walk with us this year, visit this link.

8) Referrals to friends and family - several of the things I listed above would qualify as referrals - liking facebook posts, retweeting...but, directly reaching out to your network of friends and family in person or via email is also a great way to help. I had several friends reach out via email to their networks last year, and that resulted in over $500 in donations! I think a lot of people want to help, but may not know how. Directly reaching out to your network will give those folks that want to help a venue to do so.

Okay, that was a pretty long post - thanks for reading. I hope this article helped spark some ideas of non-financial ways that you can help spread MS awareness, and also help with fundraising for Bike MS. Just a few minutes of your time can make a huge difference. Thanks!

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