I invite all of you to join me on the Camino de Santiago in spirit, and if you feel so moved, to support Snohomish County Legal Services with every step I take. Yes, I’m turning this 480-mile stroll through northern Spain into a walk-a-thon for charity. It’s the right thing to do, especially since I will be out of the office for two months and therefore not doing any work for the org.
My goal is to raise $5,000 for SCLS programs, which include civil legal aid and representation for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, family law, housing, debt relief, simple bankruptcy, and senior citizens.
How can you help? Pledge to make a donation directly to SCLS for every mile I walk! It’s that easy:
- 10 cents per mile = $48
- 25 cents per mile = $120
- 50 cents per mile = $240
- $1 per mile = $480
- $5 per mile = $2,400
- $1,000 per mile = … you get the point
This is purely an honor system with no badgering on my part. You can show your support directly on this page I set up for the “CaminoJen Campaign.” The form is set up for one-time payments OR recurring if you wish to break up your pledge into monthly or quarterly payments.
All of the “charity walk” fundraising tools take a percentage raised before passing it on to the nonprofit. A few hiking sites recommend contacting your favorite charity directly and asking them to have their development department set up a fundraising page for your hike to bypass these for-profit apps. Well, guess what? I AM the development department at SCLS! Now 100% of all dollars pledged are going straight to SCLS: no fees to any apps or companies and nothing passes through me… except goosebumps I will get when I think about how awesome my friends are.
Why turn this into a fundraiser? Because my reason for walking the Camino directly correlates with how my time started with SCLS. I will fly to London to start this pilgrimage exactly two years and one day after I first started to feel the symptoms of the pericarditis that almost took me out. I vividly remember feeling out-of-sorts on April 1, 2016, but I chalked it up to nerves on my very first day on the job. I had just rotated off of the Board of Directors after a three-year term, and I was beside myself with excitement that I had the opportunity to continue our hard work and vision of building a development program and bringing some sustainability to this vital civil legal aid program. I remember being frustrated with myself that first day for being completely winded after walking only two blocks to the county courthouse to watch our domestic violence attorney work her magic in court. How could I be so out of breath when I had just been averaging 5-7 miles of walking per day in Vegas two weeks before? Obviously I had no clue what was in store for me. Pericarditis — you suck.
So two years and one day after my first day on the job — and first real brush with mortality — I will be leaving for Europe to walk the Camino de Santiago because pericarditis didn’t kill me.
I know that every day I will be thinking about work. Every day I will be reflecting and strategizing on how I can do my job better, what I should work on when I return, what I should change, and how I can return to Washington for Memorial Day weekend as a better person ready to serve the organization with fresh ideas and new perspectives. Thank you for joining me in spirit by pledging to support civil legal aid for those living in poverty in Snohomish County!