Walking Away

 

I am figuratively and literally walking away from charity walking and The Happy Walk. I have nothing left, no kombi, no money, nothing because I sold everything for them, to keep walking so i could keep raising funds and awareness. I walk away starting from scratch. The fundraiser finished 2 weeks ago and they haven’t even said thank you.

If you have been following my walk to learn more about fundraising for your own walk, run or ride I suggest you choose a charity which can mutually support you through social media, their internal network of members and supporters, news media and on the ground. Strong and regular mutual support from your charity for long fundraising expeditions is essential otherwise it feels like you have sacrificed everything for a thankless cause.

Know what to expect from your charity. Let them know what you need before you choose them. If they can’t regularly and voluntarily check-in on your wellbeing, show some gratitude, support you through social media (more than twice in 4 years), at the very least, then be prepared to feel some ugly conflicting emotions from their lack of support.

I admit, it will take me a little while to get this bitter taste out of my mouth. I often regret wasting $70,000 of my personal funds on this 4yr fundraiser. I forget that thousands of lives have been changed directly through my walk, media interviews, roadside conversations, a yarn over the fence with farmers, small community schools, sitting in cafes chatting with groups of women, pub fundraisers. People have phoned and written to let me know I saved their lives just by listening to them. Raising only $20,300 was pretty devastating, I expected much more support for suicide prevention, but that number represents the costs of more than 800 crisis calls being answered by trained phone counsellors, potentially 800 more lives finding a reason to keep living. I just wish the charity i chose had shown me a little more support.

Lack of support from charities is a common issue for long distance and long duration fundraising. Many walkers change charities because of this. Several times I thought about it, did some research and wrote to other small grass-roots non-profits. I even considered changing the cause. Walking solo unassisted around Australia is one of the hardest things you can do but unless you have tried you can’t understand how important support from your charity is. They can’t grasp how much you need them.

This is something i will never do again.

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9 thoughts on “Walking Away

  1. Well done Terra. The footprint you make on this earth is already very impressive. Don’t give up your quest to help people who need your compassion and ability to understand them. This world needs a lot more like you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m saddened to hear this Terra’ however, not surprised to learn about the lack of support coming from a charity. Self-supporting long-distance treks rely on community and humanity in action. Perhaps for some charities, they have little understanding of what’s involved, when the focus on their publicity and generating $$$. No one knows what it’s like to be solo, knocking out miles, and being the public face 24/7. Perhaps it seems all too easy from the comfort of an air-conditioned office. Your miles inspired and continue to inspire.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Best wishes Terra. It’s time to take a break, look after yourself, and re-frame things. All change starts with an ending. You have entered that magical space where anything is possible now . You just need time to find the next beginning. Never forget that you have inspired many others who are now on their own journeys and who will continue to look at you as their inspiration and new beginning.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can relate to your disappointment at some level given that I now work in the mental health field. I also once emailed my local suicide prevention organisation regarding a potential fundraising event but never got a reply, I cannot imagine counting on them for my mental health. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to be done to raise awareness. You have done more than you give yourself credit for, don’t think you haven’t made an impact, good mental health begins with good self-care 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry to read this Terra. I think it is a common experience now for many of the charities as it becomes big business to raise ‘brand awareness’. It’s is sad that you have been treated this way.
    You have made a difference in many peoples lives. I remember reading about your walk through the Travel Live Play website and was inspired by what you were doing. Sometimes there is no price you can put on an experience as you never know what it might lead you to. Take care ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, I just read your post and feel gutted for you 😦 Charities would get more support if they supported those who are willing to go the extra mile to raise awareness! I haven’t been following your whole journey, however it appears to me that you’ve made an impact on a deeper level and I agree what Dr Rob had to say 🙂 Take care of yourself and best of luck with your next endeavors 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi you are a strong person you will pick yourself up and be better you have done something amazing that not many have done its there lost you have inspired me and I hope I can do it for my daughter I have lost 12 kg in 8 weeks I walk 4hrs with 20kg back pack I know how you feel but the best thing you have is your family I hope one day I can say hi no I’m not a stalker lol I have been though something too it makes us stronger thank you Tony Orr

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your money will go to people who need it, and will support potential suicide victims by offering a listening ear. I’m sorry this experience didn’t have a happier ending, but I think you, as many many people will thank you, for helping to save their brother, sister, mother, father or friend. There are many people out there who you impacted by donating the money and your time. Don’t lose faith in the good ones just because you met a few bad eggs along the way. Best wishes xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was amazed to learn of your walk and still and astonished by the sheer distance you covered. On its own, as an athletic defeat, this deserves much more attention, and the fact that it was all for charity makes the sting all the more acute. But you have inspired tons of people and stuck with something difficult that you believed in. That’s worth an awful lot, if you ask me. Good luck from here on!

    Liked by 1 person

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