Thursday, 22 August 2013

Walk to Answer TTP Together - How one Team Prepares.

2012 Walk to Answer TTP Together - Walking for Trevor
Two years ago, on September 24, 2011, Kathy Downs lost her son Trevor to TTP. The day Trevor died was the same day that Answering TTP Foundation held its first annual Walk to Answer TTP Together. Kathy took this as a sign. Last year, Kathy, with the help of Trevor’s family, friends and co-workers, decided to register a team to participate in the Walk to Answer TTP Together. She thought it would be the perfect way to mark the first anniversary of his death, while also helping to spread life-saving awareness about this blood disorder that took her son much too soon.

When Walk day arrived last year team “Walking for Trevor” had more then doubled their initial goal to raise $5,000 and had recruited just shy of 30 registered participants to walk with their team in Trevor’s honour.  

This year, Kathy says they have raised their donation goal to what they brought in last year ($13,000) in the hopes of surpassing that!

In an effort to promote teams walking in the 2013 Walk to Answer TTP Together, I talked to Kathy to find out how her team prepares for the walk and what they do to make the walk appeal to those in their community that didn’t know Trevor. Here’s what she had to say:

2012 Walk to Answer TTP Together - Walking for Trevor
How did you initially get people interested enough to register as a part of the Walking for Trevor team last year?
We knew we wanted to participate in the walk to mark Trevor’s passing. We also thought it would be a positive way to get through a difficult time with those who knew and loved Trevor. So we started asking everyone we knew - family, friends and coworkers. The response and compassion were overwhelming! We found that lots of people who knew Trevor immediately wanted to help. A lot of them felt they had a personal need to do something to commemorate him and this Walk was the perfect way to do that.

Has it been more difficult getting people interested in registering to walk with your team this year?
This year, a lot of the same people who came out last year want to help again. It has become something for them to participate in every year that will hopefully have a huge impact on TTP patients. Many of our participants have expressed that they like that they feel they’re helping people while spreading life-saving awareness, so much so that now they are spreading the word to their family, friends and coworkers. So hopefully our walk team will keep growing!

What do you do to ensure the success in the goals for your walk?
We try to generate as much awareness as we can about what we are walking for and why before the day of the walk. We use all our social media accounts to advertise about the walk and to ask people to register to join us or to donate.  We reach out to our network as well to see what kind of connections they have and if they are willing to help, we draw on that. This year a friend of ours who has media connections has offered to help get us some media coverage in an effort to generate even more awareness. We also email EVERYONE we know, including distant family members and coworkers. We make sure we include all the information we would want to know (i.e. where the money is going, why there is a need to participate, what TTP is, etc) before donating or registering to participate in an event like the Walk to Answer TTP Together. The more people understand the more people are willing to help!

2012 Walk to Answer TTP Together - Walking for Trevor
What does your team do to prepare for walk day?
We have a meeting! We all get together to discuss a game plan for walk day. We discuss who is going to do what and split up who is responsible for recruiting who, so there is no overlap in asking people to participate or donate.  

What makes your walk day stand out?
A big team in matching shirts walking together helps to garner a lot of attention! Also, I make lunch for all our participants! I think it is a little incentive for people and it is a way for me to say thank you for supporting our family and Trevor.

Do you have any advice for people who want to participate and start a team?
ASK! You’d be surprised to find out how many people want to help, especially if they know you have been directly or indirectly affected by TTP. Make sure you tell people how rare TTP is, and that every little bit of help they can offer can have a huge impact on bringing awareness to the cause. Draw on the resources you have! We know we are lucky to have such a broad family and friends network, but even we were surprised at how many people came out to support us through registering to walk and donating money. As I mentioned earlier, we always ensure that our communication to people about the Walk is detailed yet concise. When people have a better understanding of the need for awareness, what TTP is and how it affects people, they are more willing to help!

So there you have it Answering TTP Foundation community - putting a team together and registering to walk is not so daunting.  Register yourself or your team by September 1, 2013. On Saturday, September 21, 2013 help generate life-saving awareness for TTP in your community! The Walk to Answer TTP Together is a two-hour walk that takes place wherever you are. The Walk does not specify a distance, as we understand that some TTP patients can suffer long-term effects and we want to ensure that anyone can participate in this walk, whether you walk the entire two hours or need to stop for breaks. Register by September 1, 2013 to join us to raise awareness and funds for this medical emergency!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

On Wednesday July 3rd, 2013 volunteers and board members got together for an evening filled with food, laughs and awards; at Answering TTP Foundation's annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner and Awards Evening. Thank you to our "hostess volunteer with the mostess" - Margie Castiglione,  for hosting such a wonderful event!

This year an exciting new tradition was started with the first presentation of the Heather Leckie Bryant  award. This award is dedicated to the Memory of Sydney Kodatsky’s (the founder of Answering TTP Foundation) mother for her determination and immense contribution to the Foundation. Every year this award will be given to volunteer who goes above and beyond the call of duty to further the goals of the Foundation. 

Tammy Robertson (left), Sydney and Heather Kodatsky (middle), Alexis Levine (right).

The 1st recipient of The Heather Leckie Bryant Award is Tammy Robertson. Tammy is passionate about the Answering TTP Foundation and has volunteered at many events. From fundraisers to blood drives to stuffing envelopes. No job is too big or too small.  For the past 2 years,  Tammy has chaired the Chance for Change event. With her leadership and determination, the event has more than doubled in attendance and raised $150 000 at the last event in February 2013. Congratulations Tammy and thank you too all of our wonderful volunteers, none of what we have accomplished so far would be possible with out any of you. 

Aside from the food, fun and awards Alexis Levine, Chair & Secretary of the Board of the Answering TTP Foundation, gave a thank you address on behalf of the Foundation. Click here to watch, if you were unable to attend in person or via call in. Tammy also gave us a sneak peak at what to expect for 2014’s Chance for Change event. 

If you are interested in volunteering with the Foundation, please check out our website HERE. We look forward to having you on the team. 

Thank you again to all of our volunteers and your generous contributions, we look forward to working with you all again. You are the life-blood of this Foundation!

Check out the thank you video filled with pictures from this past year’s events, information about what we have accomplished so far and a sneak peak at something new the Foundation is working on…