The easy way to raise money in minutes
Sirleen Ghileri of Aptos has figured out the trick to raising money for Walk to End Alzheimer’s quickly and effortlessly. Her strategies are sending emails and using Facebook fundraising. Sirleen raises money to honor her mother, Dorothy Myhand, who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2009.
Walking for Mom
“I’ve always known about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” shared Sirleen. She had participated in the past, but hasn’t been to a Walk since before her mom died. “One night when I was lying in bed, I started thinking about my mom and feeling sad about how she died with Alzheimer’s. Then I said to myself, ‘maybe instead of being sad I should do something!’ That’s when I decided I needed to go back to Walk.”
Sirleen’s mom, Dorothy, was born in 1923. She lived through the Great Depression and became the mother of five children. “She always had a positive outlook on life,” recalls Sirleen. “One of the things that pleased me during her journey with Alzheimer’s was that her personality didn’t change.”
As Dorothy progressed in the disease, Sirleen’s father knew he was going to need help. He and Dorothy moved to Kansas City to be closer to their son. “Dad took care of Mom at home until she started falling,” shares Sirleen. Dorothy moved into a nursing home and remained there until her death in 2009.
Building her walk team
Sirleen lives in a mobile home park for seniors. She and her neighbor, Doug Brown, are the co-captains for their team, The Unforgettables. They invited their fellow residents to an informational meeting about Walk to End Alzheimer’s at the mobile home park clubhouse.
“I wrote a letter and invited everyone to come,” says Sirleen. “I really wanted to convince people to come to the Walk.”
One of the route options at the Santa Cruz Walk to End Alzheimer’s goes all the way down to the beach and back, which can seem daunting for some walkers. “It’s important they know they don’t have to walk the long walk,” Sirleen informs her fellow residents. “They can do the short walk or just come and enjoy the festivities and listen to the music.”
The meeting at the clubhouse was a great success. Sirleen and Doug added eight more people to their team, rounding their total to 12 teammates.
Sirleen’s event helped to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and the work of the Alzheimer’s Association. The funds Sirleen and her team raise for the Walk help fund Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
Making money in minutes vs. hours
Fundraiser: yard sale
Duration: several hours
Sirleen’s first fundraising event was a yard sale that at her mobile home park. All of the proceeds from this event went to her Walk team. “I made $250 and was really happy about it,” shares Sirleen. “But it was a huge amount of work.”
Duration: 15 minutes
When Sirleen registered for Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer’s Association provided her with fundraising tools, including an email template she could use to ask for donations. For her second fundraiser, Sirleen decided to use this tool to ask her friends and family to donate.
“I used the template provided and sent an email,” shares Sirleen. “It took me 15 minutes to set up and within eight hours I had $500 in donations. I’ve raised over $900 and the emails are still coming in!”
Fundraiser: Facebook fundraiser
Duration: 10 minutes
Another tool provided to registered Walkers is a way to raise money through a Facebook fundraiser. This was the fastest and easiest thing for Sirleen to do. “The Facebook fundraiser was incredibly easy.” Shares Sirleen. “The Walk website provided a template and I just customized it. It took me 10 minutes max to set it up.”
Sirleen was able to honor her mother by launching the fundraiser on what would have been her mother’s birthday. Sirleen shared, “I think for those that knew her it struck a chord.”
Through the Facebook fundraiser, Sirleen has raised almost $1,000 so far. “I was reluctant to approach people and ask them for money in person. Email and Facebook are great alternatives for me.”
The winners: Facebook Fundraiser and emails
When you break it down by the time spent and the amount donated, the Facebook fundraiser is a clear winner. Coming in at a close second is sending out emails.
“I told all the people in the senior park to send emails and post on Facebook” says Sirleen.
“These two little things take no effort at all. It blew me away, it’s so easy and I raised so much money.”
The best part, Sirleen shares, is being able to sign into her email and receive a notification about a new donation. “I scroll through to see who it is and how much they donated. It always makes me happy.”
You can join Sirleen and Doug’s team, The Unforgettables, or form your own team and join us for the Santa Cruz Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 21 at Seascape Resort and Park in Aptos. Not in Aptos? Find the Walk to End Alzheimer’s near you at alz.org/walk.