Today, with five days left to go before my fight, I hit my fundraising target.
My target was £340. I didn’t choose it, as such. When I set up my Just Giving page, £340 was pre-populated in the target section and I figured that that didn’t seem like an unreasonable amount of money. So I left it.
In our original paperwork signing up to the match, we had to pledge to try to sell a certain number of tickets and raise a certain amount of money. We were each asked to raise a target of just £50. I think everyone in our group has surpassed that target.
For most of the process, donations have been trickling in, usually at the rate of £10-£20 per donation and I am grateful to everyone who has chipped in.
I really started caring about how my fundraising was going a couple of weeks ago when it started to feel very real that the fight was creeping up on us. I was on about £150 or so at this time.
This morning, I was on £240. I was 30% off my target and I’d been there for almost a week, since one of my oldest friends and my mum both chipped in £20. At that time, our team was just 3% off our combined fundraising target and I was really excited about how close we were.
Recenty, I’ve got a bit more frequent with how often I posted the link to my JustGiving page on Facebook and Twitter and Reddit. It seems to have paid off. I’d been linking so often that I got used to leaving the page open on Google Chrome on my phone so I could grab the link quickly.
A little while ago, I went to Google something on my phone only to find that the big pink circle on my JustGiving page was filled in – I’d hit 100%.
I think the most amazing thing about it was that I wasn’t especially close to my target beforehand. I was still 30% away and, just an hour beforehand, I’d had a donation of £10 from a good friend of mine and then an anonymous donation that launched me the rest of the way to my target and over it. (I’ve also now raised the most money via Just Giving than anyone else in our group. It’s not a competition, but I do feel a little proud.)
Someone had given me £100.
I don’t know who they are. I don’t know where they found my link. I don’t know if they’re one of my Facebook friends, or a stranger who saw my posts on Twitter or Reddit or even here. I don’t know if it’s someone from work who got the email I sent out about my fight.
Whoever they are, I am very grateful. Thank you.
I have a concern that the anonymous donation may have been so generous because the cause is close to their heart. I, after all, know far too many people who have been in violent or abusive relationships and am all too aware of how commonly these crimes occur, how rarely they are prosecuted and how difficult they can be to prevent.
If this donation has come from someone who is in a situation like this, or loves someone who is, I hope that they find the help that they need.
I have a thousand thanks for everyone who has supported me so far – everyone who has donated and has bought tickets to come to the show and has been encouraging to me personally over the past two months.
If anyone would like to come to watch me fight, you can buy tickets here.
If anyone would like to donate to Refuge, you can find my JustGiving page here.