Wednesday, 30 July 2014

One Week Later...

So here we are, precisely one week to the day that I launched Nate's on line fundraising and it's been an absolute whirlwind.

Before I delve into what has happened since that point, I want to let you know what my expectations were prior to 'going live' with our fundraising efforts. I thought a goal of 1k would have been difficult to achieve and it would also require a lot of effort in the build up to the Great North Run to get close to such a landmark figure. If achieved we could purchase two pieces of sensory equipment to add to Nate's room. One being fibre optic lights (approx £400) to hang from the ceiling held within a fishing net. The other a fibre optic carpet (approx £600).

Nate loves close proximity sensory equipment. He engages with it like no other and it's great to see. As Nate attends school and a monthly respite hospice +St Oswalds Hospice  he becomes used to the high levels of attention and stimulation that he receives. Having these pieces of equipment within our home would further help his development and naturally see more progression from Nate.

This was without considering the fact I couldn't secure a play in the GNR through the ballot, so I've had to commit paying £300 to +St Oswalds Hospice to secure a place in order to raise cash. That £300 will be coming from my own pocket, it was a gamble but only time would tell whether this would pay off. What if fundraising didn't pay off? Well at least @glennkent had secured a place.

So as you know I published a blog about our journey through the last four years and the response was mind-blowing. Donations were coming in thick and fast and I was completely taken aback by everyones generosity. I know that sounds pretty formal but it's the truth. So much so that I even left work early that day just so I could reply to people on Nate's fundraising page

So the 1k target, well you all smashed my expectations to smithereens. It took a grand total of 8 hours to reach the 1k barrier. Our attempts to raise this amount achieved and Wednesday wasn't even over.

I say that because if my expectations to raise money were to be classed as low (given the response) then I didn't even consider the generous acts that may suddenly be landing at my feet (well DM inbox). I was contacted by with regards to art work donations by @23dawit and then later by @alsnotnutz. My only concern being, I didn't have the time to invest in running twitter auctions. I needn't have feared. The latter took the bull by the horns and before you know it there's at least four auctions relating to art work and then @shewore kindly donated cuff links to be added into the mix. This generous act has resulted in a further £405 being raised. Had nobody got in touch, then this wouldn't have been achieved. Thanks also to everyone who donated pieces to the auction, equally without your input, this wouldn't have been possible.

Did it stop there? Of course it didn't. @goonerdave66 had shared Nate's story, helped plug the initial auctions and things were gathering much more pace. In addition to this the amazing @buxtongooner offered to decorate Nate's new room , which in itself is a very nice gesture. When you couple it with the fact I live in Gateshead, it's even more mind-blowing. Tears of happiness filled my eyes.

You see twitter can be a wonderful place. I wouldn't quite say this went viral but when players like @leedixon2 RT Nate's story via @goonerdave66  then it adds an extra dimension. There's a lot of bad in the world and it was so refreshing to see the good in people. Good often doesn't get as much air time but here it most certainly does. You see many great charities raise millions of pounds but you don't necessarily see the impact all of your donations make. With Nate its going to be different, I'm going to take you on a journey with him. You've exceeded our initial goal, which has subsequently been adjusted to 2k and 3k both of which have been surpassed. If you follow @funds4nate then you will see glimpses into his life. I've already shared such simple but demanding tasks such as how do you bathe him and get his hair cut. Run of the mill tasks but so demanding when faced with a severely disabled child. When we buy equipment you will see Nate in action with it. Your donations have been that staggering that we've been able to broaden our horizons. Now we are able to afford, sensory tunnels (£1200) & interactive bubble tubes (£1000). It's going to be a sensory haven. A place where Nate can interact and enjoy the 'toys' that bring him the most pleasure.

Terms such as #arsenalfamily are massively overplayed, mainly for attention grabbing and like for like follow requests but in Nate's case it's about everyone embracing the needs of a little boy who needs your help. It didn't stop there either, fans of Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool, Newcastle,  Sunderland & Spurs to name but a few. This has been a collective effort and for that I am externally grateful to you all. Of course when it comes to football Nate is unlikely to experience the greatest game on earth but we all know how it is contributing to making his life more enjoyable. His life doesn't revolve around football.

So far we've received donations on every single day since last Wednesday. A current run of eight days in a row and our current fundraising total is £3505. INCREDIBLE

This blog is to THANK YOU ALL. It doesn't have to have resulted in a donation via yourself. The many kind words have helped us a family. We don't receive much in the way of positive feedback, we just try to crack on with our life, no matter how stressful. But the words of many provided a much needed boost. Something we are eternally grateful for. Then there's the sharing of posts, the more people this reaches the more impact it has. Don't be afraid to use they RT or Share option. That in itself is helping support Nate and again, it's really appreciated.

At present we've had 120 separate donations. A colossal amount. That doesn't include a 5aside competition on the 31st August arranged by @glennkent (also running for #funds4nate in the GNR). That's £50 a team and we currently have around 10 teams taking part. So add another £500 to that total. I have also had friends such as @jimmaz5, @rossgregory9 & @tails39 looking to arrange a talk in with a view to raising more money. This without me having to be directly involved in co-ordinating. These gestures mean a great deal to me and my family. We can never repay people for their efforts and I know that's not what you want but we feel we owe you all. So when I say thank you , it comes from the bottom of my heart and has us overcome with emotion. You're all working towards making my son's life that little but more easier and a bit more enjoyable and for that you're all apart of our family.

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