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Archive for the ‘Raise awareness’ Category

It Works to Fundraise at Work!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

I speak with our walkers every day and hear all the creative ways they are going about raising funds for Parkinson’s research. Most of our walkers reach out to their family and friends, download our Facebook app and some create fundraising events. Some have partnered with their places of business to raise funds in support of the Unity Walk. We are grateful for the generosity of so many of these companies. HomeServe USA is involving their employees to support Kristin Legenza, a longstanding participant in the Walk, in her effort to raise funds for PUW. Read Kristin’s guest blog post below.

Does your company provide an opportunity to support your fundraising efforts? Maybe they do and it’s something you haven’t explored up until now. This is the perfect time to look into these options. Are you already raising funds at work? Please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

Helaine Isaacs
PUW Event Director

Stephanie_Kristen_PUW

This year marks Team Legenza’s 6th year participating in the Parkinson’s Unity Walk. I walk for two reasons – my Grandpa Jack and my Dad. Growing up, my Grandpa had Parkinson’s for many years and it eventually took his life. A few years before he passed, my Dad was diagnosed with this debilitating disease as well. My sisters and I knew we wanted to get involved but just didn’t know how. My sister found the Unity Walk online and we immediately started to participate in the Walk and raise funds to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. It is an amazing family event that we are extremely lucky to be a part of. Every year we try and do more, and luckily I was able to fundraise through work.

I work for a company in Norwalk, CT called HomeServe USA. We often participate in what the office calls “Jeans Passes.” If you donate to the charity chosen by HR, you can wear jeans every day to the office for a certain amount of time. A few months ago, employees were invited to make a presentation to the executives about the charity of our choice and reasons why that charity should selected for this kind of fundraising opportunity. The executives then chose three charities that our employees would contribute to this year. Pushing out of my comfort zone, I took a stand with a colleague of mine and told my peers why the Unity Walk is important to me and what a great experience it is. I spoke about an event where people come together to raise awareness and funds to cure a disease that impacts so many lives and families. I shared my experience of being at the Walk, and what it’s like to come together with a group of people who feel what I feel and who support one another as we stand up and fight.

Sixteen charities were presented and the Unity Walk was chosen as one of the top three. Donations are pouring in and I could not be more grateful to work for a company that supports me and the challenges I face outside of work. Not only are the people I work with donating to PUW, but my company, HomeServe USA, matches every donation dollar for dollar. In addition, HomeServe USA donated $1,000 to each charity that was presented as part of the contest.

People say that anyone can make a difference. After this experience I believe this to be true. Due to my company and my colleague’s generosity, I am part of an effort that is significantly increasing the amount of money raised for research and I couldn’t be more excited! I stepped outside of my comfort zone and shared with my colleagues a personal part of my life that I had previously kept very private. As hard as it was to do, I would do it all over again because I was able to make a difference. If we are willing to ask, people are eager to help do their part to find a cure for a disease that affects so many lives immensely, including my own.

Step out of your comfort zone, remind people of not only the hardships of the disease, but the benefits that come from gathering as a community at the Unity Walk. Fundraise any chance you get. I did and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. We each have the capacity to make a difference.

Kristin Legenza
Team Captain, Team Legenza

Winner of PUW 2015 Social Media Contest Announced

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Congratulations to Rachel Kane, team member of Team Big Daddy Kane for winning the social media contest on Walk Day by submitting her photo on Instagram and tagging it with #puw2015 @unitywalk. The Unity Walk will send Rachel a hooded PUW sweatshirt that she plans on giving to her dad.

We are grateful to Rachel and all our walkers who raised awareness of the Unity Walk and PD by posting their Walk photos and favorite moments.

View additional Walk moments that were captured by participants by checking out the hashtag feed #puw2015.

In Subways and Buses Courtesy of the Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Courtesy of the Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation (WPF), advertisements about the 21st Parkinson’s Unity Walk can be found in New York City’s subways, buses and stations!  We are very grateful to WPF for donating media to help promote awareness about the Parkinson’s Unity Walk and about Parkinson’s disease.

If you’re in New York, keep an eye out for our ads like the one pictured below and send a photo (of you next to the sign) to @unitywalk #puw2015.

Three Steps to Increase Your Success as a Fundraiser for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
MobileApps

The “Unity Walk” Mobile App is now available via the App Store and Google Play Store. It’s one of three new tools that 2015 Unity Walk participants can use to fundraise for Parkinson’s disease research.

Thank you for joining the Unity Walk to help raise funds and awareness!  Every donation raised goes to research funded by seven major organizations, donations that provide dedicated researchers – opportunities to find a cure.  This is why we want to make fundraising as easy as possible for our registered walkers.

From talking with our top team captains and walkers, we’ve learned that successful fundraisers send out regular donation requests and reminders.  We are always searching for ways to make asking for support easier for participants and we can now announce three new tools that will help our registered walkers to fundraise!  They are a mobile application, Facebook application, and an email signature …

We are excited because in addition to sending individual emails to family and friends to ask for support, we now have these new tools for our participants!  So if you’re registered for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk, take these three steps to increase your success as you fundraise for Parkinson’s disease research:

Step 1:                        Fundraise on the go using the mobile app

For fundraisers who are always on their phone or tablet, the Unity Walk mobile app is just for you!  All from the palm of your hand you can manage and share your Unity Walk experience from your iPhone and Android devices.  You can use the app to personalize your participant page—this means updating your photo and story just got so much easier; you can upload a photo from your device!  You can connect with family and friends through social media, emails and text directly from the app.  The app also makes it easy to keep current with Walk news, giving you access to our Twitter and Facebook updates.

Participants can download the app by searching for “Unity Walk” on the App Store and Google Play Store.

Step 2:                        Expand your reach via the Facebook app

Our top fundraisers have reached their fundraising goal by asking people beyond their family and friends.  They search deep within their network and ask who else can help me with my fundraising efforts?  Because every 9 minutes someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, there’s a chance that you may know someone who may know someone who has been affected by Parkinson’s.  This is why using the Parkinson’s Unity Walk Facebook App is effective because it lets you expand your reach to your friends on Facebook—the contacts you may not have updated email addresses for!

Much can be done with the Facebook app including setting your profile and cover photos.  You can schedule posts, track your progress, countdown to Walk Day, and set (and forget it!) automated newsfeed updates when you reach important milestones throughout your fundraising.

Step 3:                        Show your commitment with the email badge

Successful fundraisers find unique ways to raise awareness and show their commitment.  This is why we’ve added the Parkinson’s Unity Walk Email Signature to help you show your connection to the Unity Walk each time you send an email.

We recommend using the email signature because once installed, it lives on the bottom of each of your emails and hence a low maintenance fundraising tool.  The signature consists of a graphic that automatically updates with your fundraising progress and links back to your participant webpage!  It is supported on multiple web and desktop email clients including Gmail, Outlook, Mac Mail, Hotmail, and AOL Mail.

Because every penny we raise together goes to critical research, we hope you maximize your fundraising efforts by taking 1 … 2 … all 3 steps into your fundraising for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk.  Whichever tools you choose to download, they will surely increase your success as a fundraiser—all of our apps and email signature link back to your participant webpage which is where your friends and family can easily make their contribution and/or join you—one significant reason why these apps will make fundraising so much easier for you.

Go ahead and give them a try!  All of these new tools can be downloaded by logging into your participant headquarters.

If you need help talking through additional ideas about how you can help to raise awareness and funds, please let us know we’re here to help you!

I Know a Guy Who Knows a Guy…

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

IKnowaGuy

Anyone who has watched the  critically-acclaimed series Breaking Bad remembers the criminal attorney, Saul Goodman and his infamous line, “I know a guy who knows a guy.” Saul’s network was significantly more unsavory than mine or yours but like Saul, we all tap into our network regularly. Sometimes, we need to be mindful of who is in our network and the resources that are available to us.

I recently had lunch with one of our walkers. We’ve had many conversations before – about her team, her mom and her extended family but I never knew where she worked. It turns out that she works for the Digital Media group of a major magazine publishing corporation that produces content for some of the leading brands in the industry.  Once we got to talking, we both realized that she potentially has the ability to have one of the magazine’s websites do a story on Parkinson’s disease during Parkinson’s Awareness Month. At the very least, she can ask.

In speaking with Fran Berkowitz, one of our walkers who lives near our office in New Jersey, I came to learn that her son, Ron owns Berk Communications, a public relations firm in New York City. We reached out to Ron and we are grateful that he has generously offered the services of his PR firm on a pro bono basis to help promote the 2015 Unity Walk. He is committed to doing what he can to support the Unity Walk. Offering his firm’s expertise is within the realm of what he can do. It turns out that the staff member in his firm assigned to the Walk has a grandmother who is living with Parkinson’s disease. She is bringing her passion for the cause in addition to her expertise.

The vendor we use to purchase the PUW t-shirts each year was in our office not that long ago. Casually, in conversation she mentioned that she knows the Chief Administrative Officer of Rite Aid. I immediately asked if she would be willing to introduce us to him. Based on that introduction, the Rite Aid Foundation is generously donating 11,000 water bottles for distribution at the Unity Walk.

These are just a few examples of how we’ve tapped into our network to benefit the Walk. We encourage you to do the same. Be mindful of who is in your network and how they might be able to support the Unity Walk. Yes, it’s about making a donation but there are many additional ways that individuals you know can provide their support. Think about where they work, who they know, their connections in their community, etc. People, who care about you and your loved ones, want to be helpful. Sometimes, they just need to be asked. Who knows, they just may know a guy who knows the right guy to make a positive difference.

PS – For your viewing pleasure, Better Call Saul premieres on February 8th and 9th on AMC.