|Esther and Naomi who raised almost $4000 between them|
|Luke who finished first from our team, in 39:50 placing 43rd overall!|
In the aftermath of another successful Sutherland to Surf I can’t help but reflect personally on an event that has been on my mind for the last 6 months. At the beginning of each year, I tend to set myself goals for the coming year in each area of my life, sort of like a personal yard stick, hoping at the end of the year to be satisfied with the progress I have made. At the beginning of 2012, I had hoped and prayed that 2012 would end with for Love Mercy with a community of friends and supporters that was bigger than just our immediate family and friends who decided to jump on board out of love for us rather than out of passion for a cause. Not that there is anything wrong with that of course, but I wanted Love Mercy to stand on its own two feet, not on the feet of its founders, and gain a real family around it that was passionate and supportive of it’s goals.
The Sutherland to Surf on the weekend was the answer to this prayer, and the evidence that Love Mercy has really turned a corner. After the KONY 2012 saga, our Facebook likes went from 120 – 490 in a matter of weeks (and sadly, isn’t that a true measure of success these days?) I wondered at the time what that would tangibly mean for us as a foundation, and I found out on Sunday that it means quite a bit. Our team grew from 80 in 2011 to 120 in 2013, but I’m not interested in the numbers. What encouraged me on Sunday was the feeling and the vibe around the finish line (and at the start line too, so I was told) and the fact that not only did we see the return of entire families sponsoring one another and donating hundreds and hundreds of dollars from their own pockets (you know who you are) but also people from across Sydney rocking up and joining in. We had kids from Port Hacking High school, heaps of Thrivers, and of course the wonderful network of people in the Shire who turned out to join in with the sea of green.
I loved being able to pick a Lover of Mercy in the race, loved the volunteers who turned up in the rain to serve us brekkie, and loved the huddle under the marquee when the rain came down hard.
What I loved the most was leaving the finish line feeling like we’d really achieved something, all together, as one big family of supporters who believe in something bigger than ourselves, and who are willing to sacrifice our own time, energy, effort, and finances to provide those who have way less than us with something as simple as health care.
Tell you what, I can’t wait for next year!