When Gloria signed up for the Act for Peace Trek for Refugees, she was a fundraising beginner. But with some creativity, a lot of ambition, and the backing of her community, she went on to raise almost $10k to help create a world where everyone belongs.
Hi Gloria! What inspired you to take the trek for refugees?
The plight of refugees arrived at my doorstep with the Tampa crisis back in 2001. Twenty years on and I continue to be distressed by this tragic situation: millions of desperate people worldwide, who have to flee all that is familiar and contributes to ‘home,’ because of threats to their lives and that of their children. I wanted to do something more active than writing letters to politicians and holding up placards to protest the detention of refugees. The Act for Peace fundraising Trek for this cause, so close to my heart, seemed like the way to go. On a personal level, as an avid bushwalker, trekking along the Larapinta Trail in the NT was a lifelong ambition. So, for all the above reasons, signing on was a ’no-brainer’!
$10k is a huge achievement! How did you get started?
I must admit that I was initially daunted by the requirement to raise $3000. I had supported fundraisers, but never raised funds myself. Having the support and encouragement of a ‘fundraising mentor’ from Act for Peace’s travel partner, was a huge help to get me to plan small goals within a set time frame. I contacted family, friends, local community groups and anyone showing an interest! The generosity of people was amazing; $3000 was donated even before I started fundraising activities! I believe the issue of refugees touched people’s hearts, especially with the war in Ukraine and the ensuing refugee crisis, being on our screens nightly.
That is incredible. How did you go about hitting your fundraising goals?
Following discussions with a friend who had raised funds for another charity, I planned 3 events: a movie night at a small local cinema, a concert with the tireless support of my ukulele teacher and members of the local Folk Club, and a smaller games night at my home with friends. All of the events, with the help of my local church, family, and friends, generated much fun and raised more funds than I could have hoped for.
Do you have any tips for those wanting to have a go at fundraising?
I’ve already mentioned the regular Zoom contacts from the fundraising ‘Mentor’ which as a novice, I found encouraging. The support of my family and local community who ‘walked with’ me through the journey of generating funds as well as raising awareness of the plight of the refugees, an equally important goal, was an essential ingredient of my fundraising venture: I couldn’t have done it without their back-up support and uplifting words during inevitable obstacles.
Join our next trek!
Walk in solidarity with the millions of people around the world who have been forcibly displaced and join Act for Peace in April 2024 on our second Trek for Refugees. We will lace up our trekking boots together to take this trip of a lifetime. Let’s come together to walk on Country in the Flinders Ranges, taking the time and space to reflect on some of the impossible journeys that so many people are making every day because of conflict or disaster.
With more than 100 million people currently forcibly displaced, this is one thing you can do to really help. The money you raise will go towards providing emergency food, healthcare, and life-saving support to those who have been uprooted. Join us as we work towards creating a world where everyone has a safe place to belong.
For more information or to sign up to take part, click here.