“I can barely remember to log into Facebook,” recounts Julie Long who is participating in her 27th Susan G. Komen 3-Day® event this weekend in San Diego, with her daughter, Jordan, who is walking for the first time. “I managed to follow the instructions on The3Day.org and added the Komen 3-Day link to my Facebook page. And so begins the story of the power of Facebook and the kindness of (almost) strangers.”
A few weeks ago, Julie received an email notification that a $200 donation had been made to her 3-Day fundraising. “The name of the donor was listed, and while it sounded familiar, I wasn’t exactly sure who it was,” recalled Julie. “I went to my Participant Center in the hopes that the donor had left a message which would help me identify who it was.” The message was simple:
‘Julie, congratulations on participating in this wonderful event. I stumbled upon your site and since I have a memory of being in your 8th grade homeroom class the year you lost your mother, I know how personal a cause this must be. I am more than happy to contribute on your behalf. Keep walking, you’re making a difference! Richard P-W.’
Julie continued, “The message might not sound so extraordinary, except that the memory Richard is referring to was an announcement made by my 8th grade homeroom teacher 41 years ago. It’s a memory of a terrible day and a terrible announcement. My teacher did not realize I had returned to school, as my mother died of breast cancer over our spring break. She had not realized that I was sitting there until 32 heads turned towards the back of the room where I sat sobbing.”
Once Julie stopped crying after reading his message, she emailed Richard to thank him. He called and they spoke for several minutes. They had only spoken a handful of times over the years (as often happens with classmates), but he recounted that he had never forgotten that day over the last 41 years.
“The 3-Day has given me an opportunity to share my grief and my hope with a community that is committed to finding a cure for breast cancer,” says Julie with conviction. “It is a world where the kindness of strangers is not uncommon. My link on Facebook and my 3-Day story reminded someone of an event over 41 years ago, and turned someone who was essentially a stranger into a treasured friend.”
Say hello to Julie and Jordan today as they finish their 60 miles of walking for a cure on the San Diego 3-Day, and tell us about your miraculous fundraising stories!