Patricia lives near Frankfurt, central Germany; she is a mother of two Teenagers and loves books.
Lydia lives near Cologne, in the west of Germany, and is a mother of a little boy, a proud horse owner, a book lover and loves to travel.
Anne lives just at the outskirts of Hamburg in Germany; she is a mother of two grown boys, is very open minded, also loves reading and is interested in making new friends.
Together they make up the team called MyCharityChallenge and have organised many events, raising lots for Bloodwise. Below is how the lovely trio met and formed the team MyCharityChallenge.
How do we begin describing what brought up the idea of fundraising for Bloodwise? How do we tell you about all the excitement and fun we had? How do we admit who brought all this about us?
Well, I will try to explain one of the most funniest and exciting things that happened to us last year. All of us are great book readers and love a good TV show and to nobody’s surprise we all love the books written by Diana Gabaldon. So naturally, we all love the TV adaptation of these, which brought a Scottish face to our attention (a face that causes a lot of attention amongst his fans), Sam Heughan. As he is actively using twitter and Facebook we easily saw his dedication to support charities and especially Bloodwise.
In summer 2015, it became known that he and some cast members of Outlander would attend the RingCon in Germany. This caused all hell to break loose in fan groups and much discussion took place of how best to make the actors welcome in Germany, for example what presents could we offer? what could we choose to give them??
First, we settled on collecting some small stories from everyone and making a beautiful little book for each actor, and this brought our team of three together for the first time to work on this. This turned out really well, and further discussion took place on what other presents we could create and make. We then had the idea to follow Sam’s example and do some fundraising to support him.
As we all have members of family or friends suffering from leukaemia and Patricia herself being a cancer patient, we settled quickly on supporting Bloodwise.
So far so good, now we needed a name. Remembering that Sam had started MyPeakChallenge last year and having participated ourselves, we just followed his example (again) and the name for our fundraising campaign was born: MyCharityChallenge.That was the easy part! Now, we had many ideas about organising the fundraising, for example did we just want to collect money? Would people trust us? How can we take into account all the ideas of Sam’s fans? Shall we contact Bloodwise? Might we give Sam a symbolic cheque? We mulled these questions over for a while and then just went for it!
First, we offered everybody willing just to donate. And secondly, we took all offers of fans to do their own challenge. In total, we had three month to carry out these activities, which wasn’t much time really. Here are some examples of what was done: One girl offered to create wonderful cakes - or better pieces of art and raise money in her own challenge. Somebody went to Prague to meet Sam and get an autograph which was auctioned. Angus McMinion (one of these yellow fellows in a kilt) found a new mother. Jamie & Claire were knitted as little lookalikes and auctioned too. People lost weight and donated for each kg. One girl gave the money she got for her overtime hours. Everybody was so happy to be part of this and had so much fun.
At the end we had about 50 people who were part and we raised 3.333 EUR (nearly £2,800). We tried to get 5 minutes with Sam to reveal this privately – but this was virtually impossible. At the end, we decided to give it a try when we saw him live at RingCon. Luckily enough we got on stage and stood at the microphone so we could ask if we might show him what the fans in Germany had done. We presented him with a large symbolic cheque to take home, which was too big for his pockets but it went safely in his luggage. Sam was surprised and genuinely happy about this exceptional present from his German fans.
We all got to know each other really well at RingCon and even though we did not have much time together we all got along really well and decided to continue MyCharityChallenge.
After RingCon we had many beautiful memories and photos of Sam, the other cast members and of Diana Gabaldon. After this as Christmas was approaching fast a new idea was born, we realized that everybody needed a new calendar for 2016. We started to look for available amateur pictures, contacted all photographers to get clearance for copyright and offered the calendar via our Facebook Page and in some Facebook Groups. Short notice notwithstanding, we sold about 30 calendars and the end result will be donated to Bloodwise.
When we learnt that Sam was supposed to be coming to the event, ‘The Gathering’ in Cologne we doubled our efforts with all the support from all the wonderful German fans contributing to our fundraising. This time postcards of Scotland were sold, a girl painted Outlander cups, a handmade ring was auctioned, a puzzle was available, books of a German writer and handmade dragonflies were sold. All this led to another 1.000 Euros being raised! And we will continue to carry out more activities this year.