I've been looking into charities recently. I'm probably like a lot of people, I donate occasionally, usually in response to big telefon campaigns such as the recent Red Nose Comic Relief Day and other large events. I'll also buy stuff such as Scramble's Red Cross Japanese Relief aid t-shirt. It's satisfying to know that I can help but with limited personal funds I have to pick and choose my donations carefully.
The poster above is a campaign run by British BJJer Clinton O'Shea. I'll let Clinton describe in his own words why he's doing what he is doing:
I hoped you might be able to help me with a little project I'm organising.
Several weeks ago, my girlfriend Christina's stepfather Eric lost his battle with pancreatic cancer after a courageous and determined fight. It has of course been especially hard on Christina's mother, Darlene, who is staying with us now until she can adjust to life without Eric. Christina and I are due to marry in 2 weeks, and we are of course hugely saddened that Eric won't be able to be there with us on our big day.
Six months ago, my mother's partner Anthony also died from throat cancer. And just last week, her sister, Lily, was diagnosed with breast cancer and goes for her pre-op tomorrow. Last month my uncle Jack had bowel cancer removed, and over the years I have had two other uncles die because of this terrible disease.
Braulio Estima has also been affected by cancer recently with the untimely death of Steve Fan, whom I never had the chance to meet. But I know his passing prompted Braulio to enter the European Open and go on to take the gold in his memory.
All of this has motivated me to do something, albeit small, to raise some money for cancer research. All I'm doing is competing at the event that Lee Catling is organising, the South East BJJ Open in October, wearing a HOT PINK GI. I'll also be sporting a matching pink mohawk, and anything else that will grab plenty of attention. I hope people will donate generously, and all the proceeds will go directly to Cancer Research UK, the world's largest cancer research charity.
I've plenty of work ahead of me in promoting the event and my involvement in it, ie. contacting the local press, getting donations from various websites, sportswear manufacturers etc., printing flyers and possibly t shirts. I've spoken with Jiu jitsu Style magazine and they said they can do some kind of spread for me in a forthcoming issue, but I'll be in contact with plenty of others to promote my fundraising. I also need to contact some gi manufacturers and retailers, to see if one could donate or lend me a pink gi for the competition. Hopefully they will see it as a worthy cause and good publicity.
In the meantime, I wanted to know if I could somehow involve you in this. I realise you're very busy, but if you could mention what i'm doing on your website and your facebook page, I know people would pay this cause even greater attention. I've only just set up the donations page through http://www.facebook.com/l/
I look forward to hearing from you.
Note: You can also check out Clint's fundraising activities via his blog: http://flaminginho.blogspot.com/