Powerful experiences have a way of bringing people together, and anyone who has been part of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day will attest to that. It takes an extraordinary kind of person to dedicate to fundraising, training and preparing for the 3-Day, and when you bring a bunch of extraordinary people together, it’s only natural that they would gravitate to each other and become fast friends.
As we near the end of February, perhaps the most loving month of the year, let’s take a minute to spotlight a few of the friendliest aspects of the 3-Day.
Earlier this month, we asked the 3-Day Facebook community to share stories of friendships that they have made through the 3-Day. The responses we saw were sweet, touching and entertaining. Click back to see the Facebook thread here, and comment with your own memories of the incredible friends you’ve made because the 3-Day brought you together.
When you’re part of the 3-Day community, you’ll find friendships forming and growing all around you. Here’s how it happens.
Speaking of making friends, we brought you this story on the 3-Day blog about two walkers who started Day 1 as strangers and quickly became BFFs.
What’s the easiest way to guarantee you’ll have friends at the 3-Day? Bring them with you! We have a few ways (and a few more, and even more) to help you talk a friend into walking with you.
We want to make it as easy as possible for your friends to experience the 3-Day, so we’re giving free travel for first-time walkers to come to a 2016 3-Day event. Learn more about how to “Bring Your Besties” e5 to the 3-Day.
Hey 2016 3-Day participants – you get something extra special this February to help you with your fundraising: a whole extra day.
That’s right, 2016 is a leap year, and we want you to be able to make the most out of February 29 with these fun fundraising ideas. For most of the challenges below, social media is the best, quickest way to reach a large group of potential donors with your message at the same time. So get posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – wherever your social circle gathers. This is the last time until 2020 that you’ll be able to use these particular fundraising gimmicks, so don’t miss this chance to take a huge leap in your 3-Day fundraising.
Get as many $29 donations as you can. This unusual dollar amount is just catchy enough that it will grab donors’ attention and they’ll want to be part of the action. Get 29 of these leap day donations and you’ll have $841, just like that!
A leap year has 366 days. Make it your goal to raise $366 in one day on February 29. Again, an unconventional, catchy dollar amount tends to pique interest and get people involved.
On February 29, you get an extra 24 hours. See if you can get 24 donations in that amount of time. Ask your donors for a specific amount to make it easy. Getting 24 donations of $50 each will get you more than halfway to your $2,300.
Put on your favorite 3-Day victory shirt, team t-shirt or anything pink and have someone snap a picture of you doing your most dramatic leap. Post it to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on February 29, and every time someone Likes/Hearts/Favorites the photo, send them a direct message and ask them for a donation. Want to take this photographic fun to the next level? Snap and post a different leaping picture every day between now and the 29th. By the time your friends and followers see two or three of them, they’ll be anxious to know the story behind the photos, and you can use that curiosity to open the conversation about donating.
Make your own personal list of 29 reasons why you take part in the 3-Day and share the list with your donors. You can make your list funny, sentimental, powerful, or any combination, as long as you make it personal. Send it out all at once as an email, post Facebook status updates throughout the day on February 29. Or if you’re feeling really ambitious and are savvy with moviemaking, put your list into video form and share it that way (video posts on social media are considerably more successful at reaching followers than text-only posts).
Leap year comes once every 4 years, so use this February 29 to remind your donors that they can break their donation up to 4 monthly payments. Being able to pay in installments over several months often compels donors to give even more than they would have with a one-time donation.
Mile 29 of the 3-Day is at roughly the halfway point of Day 2. Set a personal fundraising goal just for February 29 (aim to raise $500 in that one day, for example), and tell your donors that if they get you to that goal, you’ll do something funny/crazy/playfully embarrassing at Mile 29. What kinds of things could you do? Let your teammates attack you with silly string; choreograph a song and dance routine and perform it at the Day 2 lunch stop; stop at mile 29 and write your Leap Day donors’ names on your arms and legs in Sharpie… You know yourself best, so pick a payoff that’s good for you, but try to go a little (or a lot) out of your comfort zone and make it entertaining. Whatever you decide to do, be sure someone is taking video for you to share with your donors and supporters.
Got any other Leap Day fundraising ideas? Share them in comments! And keep an eye out for a shareable Leap Day graphic we’ll be putting up on the 3-Day’s Facebook page next Monday.
While we may have spring on our minds, the truth is, many parts of the country will still be dealing with temps ranging from chilly to downright freezing for at least another month. And even though most of you probably aren’t really diving into any official 3-Day training, we know you’re eager to get moving. So here we go again with our cold weather training advice—some oldies but goodies, and some tips that are new to our list!
Thinking About Going Out to Walk? Do it! – By February, a lot of you will have spent the better part of the last 3-4 months cooped up inside while the world outside freezes. And no, you really don’t need to get serious about training for the 3-Day just yet, but the simple act of getting out and moving is great for your state of mind. The “winter blues” are a real thing, and exercise is indisputably proven to help elevate your mood. Get out, get the blood flowing, and who knows? Maybe when you get home, you’ll be super motivated to send out some fundraising emails or work on recruiting some teammates!
Clothe Yourself Carefully – Before stepping outside, you might be inclined to bundle up in your down parka, but if you’re taking a walk, you will probably be better off dressing in lighter, thinner layers that you can unzip or shed as you go if you need to. Stay away from 100% cotton, which will trap moisture against your skin; you may be cold, but if you’re moving, you’re sweating, and the only thing worse than being really cold is being really cold and wet. Instead of cotton, dress in moisture-wicking fabrics for the layer of clothing closest to your skin. And don’t forget something to cover your head (a warm hat, or even your favorite 3-Day wrap).
Warm Up Inside – Going quickly from one warm location to another is one thing, but if you’re heading outside with the intention of exercising your body, it’s a good idea to warm that body up a little bit first. It doesn’t have to be elaborate (ideally, you won’t even break a sweat at this point), just get your muscles and joints moving for a few minutes so that you’ll be ready to transition more easily into your walking workout outside. You can march in place, walk up and down your staircase a few times, do a quick set of jumping jacks, or strike a few sun salutations.
See and Be Seen – If you’re out walking in a monochromatic setting (i.e., surrounded by white, brown or grey landscape), wear bright colors and/or reflective materials so you stand out against your environment. And if any part of your walk will be taking place outside of full daylight hours, invest in a head-lamp to make sure you can see where you’re going and other walkers, cyclists and pedestrians can see YOU. (That head-lamp will come in handy for late-night trips to the porta-potties in the 3-Day camp later in the year.)
Warm Your Digits – Even the most adequately-clothed walker can become miserable quickly if his or her hands are not kept warm. At minimum, wear gloves to keep your paws snug. Need a little extra warmth? One 3-Day coach swears by those chemical-activated hand and foot warmers, which are available in the camping section of any sporting goods store. They are a quick, inexpensive way to keep your fingers and toes toasty. They fit snugly inside your gloves (or even in your shoes) and will ease the shock of freezing temps on your extremities.
Save Your Skin – Cold air and wind can really do a number on exposed skin, so don’t forget to put on moisturizer before heading out. Sunscreen, too, is a must-have for training any day of the week, any time of the year. You may not feel the sun’s warmth, but its rays are still doing a number on your skin.
Hydrate – Drinking water when it’s hot out is a no-brainer. You crave the cool water to quench the heat. It can be harder to remember to hydrate in the cold, but it’s no less essential when you’re exercising. If you normally carry your water in a fanny pack while you walk, think about holding it in your hand while walking in the cold, as an ever-present reminder to sip as you step.
Plan Your Route Wisely – Be certain that you’re walking someplace familiar, and pay close attention to the terrain with every step. If the sidewalks have not been cleared of ice and snow, walk in the street (obviously, this is not a good option for heavy traffic roads). Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back, and avoid walking on trails or back roads where you might lose your way. Getting lost is bad enough, but getting lost in freezing temps can be flat out dangerous.
Stay Indoors – Wait, you’re not off the hook for training! But if it’s just too nasty outside, find someplace indoors to get moving. While we don’t recommend that you do all of your 3-Day training on a treadmill, it’s a perfectly fine alternative to outdoor walking if you need it occasionally. No treadmill? Throw on your shoes and walk on an indoor track, through a shopping mall, or up and down the stairs in your office building. One of our coaches also suggested college campuses as places that often have large and/or interconnected buildings, and lovely, well-maintained grounds you can walk through.
Trust Your Gut – Don’t push yourself too hard. If your instincts (or your local weather advisories) tell you that it’s not safe or healthy to be exercising outside, or if you get started on a walk and something doesn’t feel right, it’s okay to call it off. Having you healthy and whole for the 3-Day is more important than getting that mile or two in during a cold snap.
Here’s hoping for warmer days ahead! If you have any great cold weather training tips that we missed, please share them in comments!