Ha! Right now I'm channel surfing and came across Forrest Gump running across America. A kindred spirit :)
One of the many reasons for going off the Appalachian Trail in Maine was the possibility to make my hike a fundraiser. Not surprisingly, many of the towns through which the trail passes tend to see a fair share of people doing long-distance hikes for charity. In other parts of the country, we are a much rarer breed, and therefore generate more interest. Even more important, there are obviously a lot more people in urban areas, and hence, more potential donors. And on top of all that, hiking on roadsides goes much quicker than the trail and gives me more time and access to places where I can use the internet to do planning for my fundraising.
This having been said, though, it has still taken awhile for my fundraising efforts to really amount to anything. But this week, with my blog and donation site finally up and running, I've been able to raise well over $1000. Granted, there's a long way to my goal of $50,000, but it's a great start, since this was the first week that I really started spreading the word. I'm very grateful to everyone who has donated, but special thanks are due to two former Jeopardy champions for their help- Ken Jennings and Bob Harris. Both not only contributed generously of themselves, but they both also spread the word on their blogs (www.ken-jennings.com and www.bobharris.com) and Bob had the great idea to post a link to my site on the Jeopardy message boards at jeopardy.com. This has been a huge help and I'm really thankful you both decided to do this.
My future efforts at fundraising will consist of talking to groups (e.g. Rotary Clubs, VFW posts, etc.), handing out fliers to people I meet with links to my internet sites and a description of what I am doing, and posting such fliers in places that I pass through (coffee shops, libraries, etc.) on a small poster that mentions I stopped off at said location on my way to Key West. Obviously, these efforts will continue to evolve, but let me know if you have any ideas- all are clearly welcome!
My next post will detail some of my experiences in New York City- stay tuned!