Feeling Zoomed-out? Local nonprofit thinks outside the box for new fundraising efforts

Posted at 5:21 AM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 08:37:34-04

FOX POINT — With so many events pivoting to online, many of us might be feeling “Zoomed-out.”

Nonprofit Friendship Circle of Wisconsin is working to rebound their fundraising efforts by turning their one-mile annual walk into a 150-mile bike ride.

Friendship Circle creates connections and inclusions for those living with disabilities in our community. COVID-19 trampled their plans for this year’s walk, which makes up 75 percent of their small donations each year. Leader Rabbi Levi Stein says big donors also had to drop out these past several months, “Foundations were telling us they were not giving this year. Donors were saying ‘everything is uncertain’ and it was really really scary.”

Stein believed a virtual event is not the only way to fundraise. He dreamed up a way to be really socially distant. He’s planning a two day, 150-mile bike ride Sept. 13 to 14.

His inspiration is Joe Volfman, who has cerebral palsy. Joe will be hand-cycling the entire way.

"I do about 90 percent of my biking on my left arm," Volfman explains.

“The people around me, Friendship Circle pushed me. Forget about what people say, you are you. You are Joe Volfman. You are going to go out there and achieve something greater.”

Joe is working to qualify for the Paralympics in hand cycling and triathlon. This 150-mile Bike4Friendship event will be the longest he’s ever gone. The 21-year-old hopes to be an inspiration for everyone, “And really telling them that no matter what your struggle is in life you always have the potential to achieve greatness to achieve something better.”

Here is your Rebound Rundown:
—Think outside of the “digital box” for a fundraiser.
—Consider outdoor events where it is easier to practice social distancing.
—Check CDC and local health guidelines to keep your event safe.

Click here to learn more about the Bike4Friendship event on Sept. 13-14.

Click here to learn about the Friendship Circle of Wisconsin’s new coffee shop and bakery in Fox Point. They just brought back their adult employees with special needs two weeks ago, and are open with limited hours to continue to bounce back.

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