Many of you have waited patiently for me to announce where the funds were going from the Boston shirts. I can’t thank you enough for trusting me when many of you don’t know me -for trusting that I’d put it exactly where it needs to go. After getting off the phone with the Executive Director for the Scott Rigsby Foundation – I can say with 110% certainty I’m making the right decision in using it for the Aid for Boston fund.
A fellow MRTT member got the inside scoop that the money was going to them and asked for my thoughts on how I chose them. Yes, this is long, but it explains it all and I want to share it with you so you know.
This is what I wrote to her:
“I’m so glad you asked because I wanted to put this in words but kept thinking I didn’t have the time. I needed to make time so thank you :) It’s long, but I don’t want to cut a single word -it’s my heart and I want everyone to understand.
We have a group on facebook just for chapter leaders. I call them my “sounding board” because I use them to help me make decisions ;) I asked them their thoughts about where the money should go and if I was wrong in not wanting the money to go to “the one fund”. It was an overwhelming response that the money should go directly to the families and I was so glad to hear that – that’s where my heart was -but I kept hearing people nation wide suggesting it go to “the bucket” as I referred to it (the one fund).
I just knew the money would be SO much better used if I knew where it was going and that it was going to the families even though that’s what the one fund says it is going to. Many chapter leaders/friends shared personal blogs of those affected from the bombing but I was still concerned about how to pick and choose of all those affected. Then this morning I had a message from the Warner Robins chapter leader Tia who said “Hey look up Scott Rigsby.” (with a brief story) so I googled him thinking it was going to be another individual to donate to. When I got to his blog I was immediately covered in chills and tears streamed down my face. I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
Scott is a double amputee who is also a runner, marathoner, IRONMAN – OMG!! He was 3 minutes from finishing Boston when the bombs went off… but not just that – I recognized his face…. I remember seeing him and complimenting his “legs” at the Georgia Marathon expo telling him he was an inspiration. I am truly inspired and amazed at the efforts of disabled athletes. I have since realized how “easy” it really is to “just run”. Their job is so much tougher.
Pause for a little back story….
A few months ago I ran a race in my home town and there was a guy in a regular everyday wheelchair doing the 5k. Not a racing chair – equate it to pushing an umbrella stroller in a race and a jogging stroller. I was so in awe that he wouldn’t use a disability or the fact he didn’t have a racing chair to stop him from racing. After the race I mentioned him to the race directors to which they replied “Yeah that’s awesome – we gave him a mug”. A mug????? This guy technically came in first place in the (nonexistent) wheelchair division – He needed a MEDAL, so I asked if that was ok, got a first place medal, walked up to him and said “You are amazing – you deserve this. Congrats on winning first place in the wheelchair division” and walked away.
A few days later his story popped up in my news feed – he was trying to win a contest so he could have the money for a racing wheelchair. OMG he actually DID want a racing chair! Unfortunately I know how hard these contests are to win when it’s a nation wide thing, so I tracked him down and said “do you have a donation page for your chair? Lets not wait to win one, we will get you that chair”. He sent me the link to his donation page where he had around $40ish in donations after about 7 months – Racing chairs cost around $3,000. I used my network of mamas, shared his story, and in 16 hours we had MORE than the $3,000 needed!!!! And now Tyler has a racing chair ;) And he’s totally rocking it out in it!
It was such an awesome thing to see everyone contribute to this young man so that he could stay healthy, competitive, and athletic. I toiled for WEEKS trying to figure out how to get a non profit started to help others who needed racing chairs or prosthetic legs….. Non profits are EXPENSIVE to start so I had to put it on the backburner.
Now – back to Scott. When I went to his page I saw the Scott Rigsby Foundation. His website describes the non profit as: “The Scott Rigsby Foundation is a non-profit 501-(c)3 organization dedicated to inspire, inform and enable individuals with loss of limb or mobility, to live a healthy, active lifestyle.” OMG THAT’S WHAT I WANTED TO DO!!!! And he was already a non profit!!!! But it got better…. he had a special spot on his website for donations that would go directly to the amputees from Boston. DOUBLE OMG – that’s EXACTLY what I was looking for. I mean exactly. I wanted to help the families of the amputees – and he was doing it!!! And he was a (official) non-profit!! And if anyone – HE would know how to get to them. I just knew it was meant to be.
I have stressed, asked, consulted my parents, googled, read stories, prayed, and contemplated over this. I literally have poured the last 3 days into figuring out where the money was going to go. Fielding question after question of “where is the money going”, defending myself when I needed to explain “this is a lot of money – I don’t want to rush into a decision”, convincing others that I understood people would feel more comfortable giving if they knew where it was going (although that didn’t seem to phase over 1,800 people who ordered). Most people trusted me – not knowing me – but trusting that I’d pick the right cause. Three of the very large organizations I know are donating their profits to The One Fund. You don’t know how stomach wrenching that was to hear when I just didn’t feel it was “the fit” I was looking for. I felt pressure from all angles but just felt I needed to wait.
Finding Scott was literally an answer to prayer and I can’t begin to describe the peace I felt when I found him. I know the money will be used wisely – direct to the families – from an amputee who KNOWS and understands first hand the trouble and mental anguish these people will go through. His Executive director assured me their plans were to work directly with the families. These were his words to me “We will be directing the funds to these individuals based on their financial needs for prosthetic care and rehabilitation. The process for this is being developed by our attorney to ensure we follow due process. In addition to this support, we will be personally engaging with the families through Scott Rigsby for private consultation and support.”
Personally engaging. Not just giving the money – personally engaging in their lives. Offering continued support. It was a done deal in my mind….
I’m confident in my decision and I hope all that have donated are proud of their donation going to Scott’s efforts. And this isn’t something I want to do as a one time donation. I’m literally THAT confident in what Scott is doing I want to continue to support his efforts to work with those who have lost limbs or mobility beyond what he is doing for Boston.
Scott has a quote on his website “I want people to look at me and say, if that guy can do it with no legs, then I can.” – and that is EXACTLY how I feel when I see disabled athletes doing their thing. I’m in awe and have a total respect. I’m very proud to donate to Scott Rigsby’s Foundation and specifically Aid for Boston efforts.
(she asked also about MRTT) As for MRTT – that is a whole other long passionate story. I can sum it up by saying it’s the best full time unpaid “job” I’ve ever had. Empowering and motivating women, inspiring them through connecting them with others, and letting them know “fast” doesn’t qualify you for a club – desire does. “