Thursday, May 28, 2009

sample fundraising letter

In mid-April, I sent out a fundraising note to family and friends that I'm pasting below. If it can be helpful to you as you consider strategies for fundraising, then great! A couple of thoughts-- remember that there are now 83 of us fundraising, and many of us go to OHC. So as not to overwhelm people with overlapping fundraising asks, I recommend asking people in your close relationship circles and seeking support from family and friends outside of our church.

Remember, there is no minimum fundraising requirement, so be prayerful as you set your goal and then passionate for the world's poor as you seek to meet the goal, whether it's $100 or $1,000.

Family and friends, April 14, 2009
I am signed up to do the Chicago Marathon October 11 as part of a group called "Iowans for Africa", a sub-team of Team World Vision! We will be running and fundraising for World Vision (, one of my favorite Christian relief organizations. World Vision is doing amazing community development around the globe, and they're making progress in fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic that is wiping out large portions of Africa. I've worked with World Vision through some of their efforts over the past years, and I've been very impressed with the leadership, integrity, and the impact of the organization. I invite you to scope out their website or feel free to ask me questions.
It's crazy marathon mania around here, with about 50 friends and neighbors currently signed up to do this marathon- beginners (that's me) and experienced runners alike. I've begun a "pre-training" workout that leads up to June when the runs begin to get longer and more serious. :0
In high school, I ran some 4 x 220's. Today, I'm running a 10 x 100.....campaign that is. I'm campaigning for $10 by 100 people to reach my $1,000 fundraising goal. This support team of 100 people will encourage me in the marathon, but most importantly will help to make a positive difference in the lives of many who live in abject poverty. Will you consider joining this $10 x 100 effort? If so, you can donate and check my progress at . I'm working to accomplish this personal goal in the next two months, so that I can then turn to help do some general fundraising for the overall Team World Vision.
If you choose not to join the $10 x 100 team, please consider committing to support through prayer. Pray that I can jog more than 2 consecutive minutes without collapsing (that's about what I'm doing now!). Seriously, pray for a more just and loving world, for the 12 million AIDS orphans, for governments and systems, for organizations like World Vision who are working for transformational and sustainable community development in some of the neediest places on earth.
Thanks! I'll try to report training progress on my fundraising web page from time to time!
Laura Hoy

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Hole in our Gospel

I don't think God is going to use anything as powerful as this book I'm reading to help me both raise funds for World Vision and finish this marathon. If I had the money, I would buy you each a copy of The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns, President of World Vision. It's both challenging and inspiring. As Don writes in his email to us today "we will have peaks and valleys in this training." This book will most certainly serve as a motivator through the valley times, as it brings into focus God's heart and our calling as His people to make a difference for His people. I highly recommend it to you and will more than likely begin to quote it or give reference to it on this blog.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

This week's Scripture/Commentary

1 Corinthians 9: 24-26 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.

Commentary: Throughout his letters St. Paul uses running as an analogy of a Christian life. As in the verse above, he often compares spiritual discipline to that required to run a race. Spiritual disciplines including prayer, Bible reading, and worship help us by grace to grow in Christ. Maintaining these disciplines requires a positive choice and some effort/action on our part. The same can be said for running.

How's everyone doing?

Saturday morning was a six mile group run...some did even more. I was grateful to be a part of it, and my calf felt healed up and great. Thank you, Jesus. It was fantastic to see many of you Saturday and to cheer each other on along the trail and as people came finishing into the parking lot. If you haven't come to a group run, I really encourage you to. I didn't even jog with anyone but myself for the six miles, but just the starting together, seeing each other as people looped back, and stretching and talking when we finished is really powerful. Come join in if you haven't yet. If you're worried you might bring up the tail, just know that there are a few of us who will likely wag that tail with you.

I came in at 12.5 minutes per mile, and though that may seem really slow to some, I find it a miracle that I have accomplished that in six weeks' time. I did wear a heart monitor this past Saturday and was in the red zone for the majority of my 6 miles. This was discouraging, but Don said that this should be considered normal for my beginner self and will continue to come down as my fitness improves. It will be good to check it in a few weeks to see if it has come down any.

How about you? How are you doing? Let us know!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Run after Jesus

Don made mention to a packet that is an 18 week training log with references to Scripture with a short commentary. I thought I'd post these weekly on the blog as well. The first one is:

1 Timothy 4: 7b Keep yourself in training for a godly life. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life for both the present and the future. (TEV)

Commentary: There is a strong connection in my life between running and spirituality. I often combine the physical exercise with spiritual by praying or meditating. Running helps me appreciate the glory of God's nature. I view every run as a gift from God and an opportunity for spiritual growth.

(p.s. I am not sure who wrote the guide and commentaries...when I make that discovery I'll be sure to credit and reference them. Thanks, Don, for providing this for us.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Run" by LeCrae

Last summer a group called One One Six Clique came to Sullivan Park to do a Christian hip hop concert. The group came out to our acreage for a picnic one night and Nathan, our son, was all about hangin' out with these guys. The concert was awesome, and we ended up with several of their CD's. LeCrae has a bit of a Jamaican hip hop song called "Run" that I've been listening to in my ipod rotation. Enjoy! :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wednesday morning group runs

To provide motivation and encouragement, Karla Chestnut and Laurie Williams are considering gathering any interested runners for Wednesday morning group runs starting on Wednesday, May 27, at 7 a.m. Mid-week morning runs for those available and interested will help build community and provide encouragement as the runs get a little longer. Even if people are paced differently, it would be great to start together as a group and finish with people cheering others on. If you are interested, please comment here. Thoughts are that the runs could start from Karla's home (near the CF Rec Center. Karla has mapped out some routes) or from church. If you are interested, please comment below!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What do you want to hear about?

I would like to hear from you any particular topics or questions that you would like to have covered at the training group on Saturday mornings. Typically we have been sharing information for around 7 to 10 minutes before we start our runs. Some of the questions that I have on my list for the next couple weeks are:

Can what you do with your upper body while your running help or hurt you?
Is there an optimal stride length, heel lift or general running form that is most efficient?
What is the most effective way to prevent chafing?
Hydration, how much, how often, water, or sport drink?
As the run gets longer how important is what I eat the night before and the morning of the run?
How do I treat/prevent/run with blisters?

Don't be afraid to ask questions, little things that normally would not be a concern, can become a big concern when you have to live with it for 26.2 miles.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When you run....

I've heard some people talk about how they have a good time of prayer and communion with God while they run. I really admire that, but I am not one of those people. I need silence and stillness with God, and all I get when I try to have a conversation with God while running is the sound of my panting and my mind constantly flipping back to considering how much further I have to go.

Music seems to be what keeps me going. I am especially fond of something with a good beat...Toby Mac has been a favorite of mine. My brother just recently gave me an ipod shuffle as a present and he loaded it with 480 songs. Since you can't see titles/artists on a shuffle, every song is a surprise. He's put on some good ol' 70's, and has some of his favorites on there for me...Neil Diamond, James Taylor, Nanci Griffith, Creedence Clearwater Revival. Makes me smile and think of him as I sing "Down on the Corner" and the like.

What do you listen to or where do your thoughts most often go while running?

Checks or Cash

I had some family members give me cash and check donations this week, and I wasn't quite sure what to do with them. Up until this point, people had been giving online. So, here's what I now know:

1. You can update your fundraising page by going to the bottom and finding where you edit. On your fundraising page, you will see a place in the bottom right hand corner for offline giving. You can add in what is given to you by people.

2. People should give YOU the checks and make them out to World Vision. You'll then mail them in with a donation form that you can download and print at Some may give you cash and you'll need to write out the check to send in. Send all check and cash donations to:

World Vision
PO Box 70200
Tacoma, WA 98481-0200

3. You can also just find a lot of frequently asked questions and answers at

Hope this helps!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tell us a story!

How's the training going for you? What are you experiencing? Any tips the rest of us might find helpful? Here's a good news/bad news scenario from my training...this will help put you to ease if you feel particularly early on the journey.

Good News: Yesterday, I was out on our country road for 28 minutes and only walked 2 of those minutes! That's a first for me, as I had been stopping about every 5 minutes to walk a minute up to that point. Bad News: I got in my car to see how far I went and discovered I had only gone 2 miles! That's a pretty slow mile time....nowhere to go but faster and further!

On the bright side, I love the discipline that gets me out there when I would have otherwise blown off exercise in my day, and I love that I can jog (even though it may be ever so slowly) more than a mile without stopping now. I see progress!

Share a story of what you're encountering and enjoying as you train. And watch the video's inspirational!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This is us in 2009!

I thought this was a great and short video to fire you up! Check this out, and then, if you have not yet set a goal for fundraising, prayerfully consider doing that in the next week and listing it on your firstgiving page. We have raised almost $2,000 so far as a team! I would be happy to strategize with you about how to go about fundraising for World Vision. Drop me an email if you want some help.

Bill Hybels, leader of Willow Creek, just interviewed Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, a few weeks ago and bought 10,000 copies of Stearn's new book The Hole in our Gospel for the Willow congregation. You can check out that interview at and you might even consider buying the book at The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us ...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

SHOUT 4 Change Run

I'm registering for the SHOUT 5K which is next Saturday, May 16, starting at Sullivan Park (8a.m. registration/9 a.m. run). I'm going to do this in place of our group run that day and maybe run a longer run a different day that week. I'm doing this in support of my friends at SHOUT Ministries as we seek to build friendships and partnership with them. I invite you along that day!

SHOUT Ministries is led by a group of young leaders in East Waterloo. I sit on the board of SHOUT and am a friend/mentor to SHOUT's president, Chassidi Ferguson. SHOUT's mission is to tear down the walls of injustice, hatred, and violence through evangelistic events and outreach. Some of our Orchard Hill friends had the pleasure of traveling to Miami together last October with three of SHOUT's leaders for a conference on Christian Community Development. Our hope and prayer is that God will work through these relationships to do His transformational Kingdom work in our community.

There will be SHOUT 4 Change registration forms/maps out at this Saturday's group run or if you're interested, you can also download the registration form at

Laura Hoy