It is this blog’s birthday today, and to mark the occasion I am publishing probably the most important post that it will ever see.
As many of you already know, this July I will be walking the the 78 mile long Dales Way footpath. Yes, 78 miles. In six days. And what’s more it was my own idea. Many are predicting it will be the end of me.
I am doing the walk in aid of The Joseph Salmon Trust, a charity set up by our close friends Neil and Rachel in memorial of their son Joseph. In April of 2005 three year old Joseph died suddenly in his sleep. Here is Rachel talking about it in the comments section of this blog:
Hi, this is Joseph’s mummy here. First Dan, I’d like to say a big thank you for what you’re planning on doing. When Neil sent me the link yesterday I was in tears. The bit about coming home to Joseph’s toys as we left themâ€¦well, I can’t describe the pain. And it’s still with us. We miss Joseph every day. He was our first child, he was a little smasher, and he turned Neil and I into – hopefully – better people because of who he was. We will always be proud to be his parents.
In answer to your question Whit, Joseph died from streptococcal pneumonia. It’s very rare and it took him, although suddenly, very peacefully. When I went in to him in the morning it was obvious from his posture that he’d just gone into a deeper and deeper sleep and never knew anything about it. This too is what all the medical personnel associated with him told us. There are not many (if any) consolations when you lose a child, but at least he didn’t suffer. And as a parent, it’s one of the things you want most for your child isn’t it?
So Dan, and everyone who’s going to join you – good luck and thank you.
From the comments section of A Prelude to an Announcement. October 22, 2007
The Joseph Salmon Trust supports parents who have lost a child by providing financial assistance to those who need it most. This may be to help with funeral costs or to allow the self employed a break from work while they come to terms with their loss. Grieving families have enough to deal with without worries about where they will find the money to say goodbye to their child or pay the next electricity bill. Nothing we can do can make their situation better, but we can do something to stop it getting worse.
And this is where you come in. Today marks the official start of the fundraising of the walk and I’m looking for donations. Any amount, no matter how small will go towards making a big difference to somebody in the darkest hours of their torment. When you donate you will receive (if you want one) a link on the roll of honor both here and on the Dales Walk blog. You also get the right to place one of these magnificent badges (designed by the delightful Mr Oli Walker) on your website or blog. You can either right click and save the picture from here, or I can email you the html code to insert into your blog.
In addition, if you could find the time to write own short post about the walk, or just copy and paste this one and put it on your blog, I would be eternally grateful. The more promotion the event gets the more money we are likely to raise.
So what are you waiting for, donate by credit/debit card via justgiving.com:
or you can email me (email@example.com) for details how you can donate via post.
All the participants are paying for their own food, accommodation, and equipment, and so any donation goes directly to the charity itself. In addition Neil has sworn that the administrative costs of the Joseph Salmon Trust will come purely from corporate sponsorship, so everything goes directly to the people who need it most.
We have a real chance to make a difference here. Thank you.
- Roll of Honour
- The genesis of the walk
- The Dales Walk Blog
- The Joseph Salmon Trust Website (coming live at some point next week)
- Article in the local paper
As of 10am this morning we’ve so far raised $235, and there is hopefully more to come. Please keep it coming; any amount, no matter how small, will make a real difference to someone’s life.
The total is now standing at $380. Thank you so much to everyone who has given money. A special mention to cre8Buzz who were magnificently generous, particularly as I only signed up to their site yesterday. If you haven’t signed up to their social/blog networking site then go do so now.
If you haven’t yet given and feel in a position to do so then anything you can spare will be very appreciated.
Sorry for being a little bit absent. My damn internet is down yet again. But the total continued to rise in my absence and now stands at a staggering $560. I have been amazed by people’s kindness and generosity. Thank you so much.
The total now stands at a staggering $625, thank you so much. The level of generosity shown has left me breathless at times. I had hoped to raise around $150 from the blog, and even then I thought I was probably being overly optimistic. But I hadnâ€™t counted on how wonderful the blogesphere is.
Again thank you.
Although Iâ€™m going to start pumping out my regular brand of claptrap on the blog again, the appeal is far from over. I have no target here other than â€œas much as humanly possibleâ€. Every penny received will go directly to those who need it most. Please keep money and the links coming in. As Whit most eloquently said on his blog:
There are many good causes in the world and I know that times are tight, but this, my friends, is something worthwhile. This is for the love of a little boy gone and the parents that remain.
It is to help those parents that have nightmares ahead.
We’re up to an amazing $745 now. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated and everyone who has given me a plug on their blog. It is unbelievable how generous people have been.
My training is going well, since I started this appeal I’ve been walking at least six miles three times a week. The aching the day after is starting to reduce, but I’m still not relishing the prospect of walking 17 miles for three days in a row.
Your generosity is making it all worth it however. Please consider giving if you haven’t already, and again thank you to everyone who has.