Tag Archives: I Do It For Foundation

I Do It For Foundation seeks partners

One of the questions I am asked about the I Do It For Foundation is, “How do you do that?” Specifically, they are asking how are we able to provide the service for free. Well, the answer to that question remains to be answered.

There are many systems out there for individuals to launch fund raising campaigns. There are fewer options that provide those tools at no charge. What makes I Do It For unique is that we go beyond simply providing tools for free. We also provide promotional items such as our I Do It For ___ tees at no cost.

Money Flow

This means that we are able to carry out our goals of raising money for people in need, but it also allows us to fulfill our mission of bringing awareness to the people who are the Inspirations fighting a battle against faceless enemies. This makes our investment in this mission more costly. At the same time it allows us as a foundation to have more skin in the game with every project we help support.

We need your help. You are the answer to the question,”How do you do that?” Yes, we are very thankful for those Donors supporting the efforts of our Doers on the part of their Inspirations. Those donations have immediate impact.

However, what makes those donations possible is the support of the foundation itself. The money that comes in to I Do It For helps to cover the operational expenses such as web site hosting, bank/credit card transaction fees and foundation promotion. It also covers the promotional items for each I Do It For project.

We welcome your individual gifts — and let me say “Thank you” to those who have already made that commitment. We would like to invite corporations to join with us as well. I’d like to offer you a unique partnership opportunity.

The I Do It For Foundation would like to be your company’s in-reach/out-reach charity. Would you consider helping to support I Do It For with a corporate donation? I Do It For would then work hand-in-hand with you to provide your company the infrastructure it needs to reach into your company to help those fighting a medical need.

It gives an organized way to allow your company family to help one another. It also allows you to expand that into the community. For instance, find a need in your community and then create an I Do It For project to go out and meet that need. Of course, these projects would be aligned under a special I Do It For web site presence for your company.

Many companies ask employees to give to organizations for which those employees may have no passion. Why not make it more personal? Why not get your company family involved with more than just their wallets?

Interested? Contact us [link] and we will be glad to answer any questions and start the process toward a meaningful partnership. The I Do It For Foundation needs you. There are also those within your company and community that need what I Do It For provides.

Of course, we also welcome individuals to give in support [link] of the foundation.

I Do It For Foundation – the Story

Yesterday I received an email from an avid supporter of the I Do It For Foundation [link]. She asked, “Do you have a copy of ‘the story’? You know of how the foundation came to be and what the vision is .. I mean from like a personal story standpoint?” Then again this morning I received a request wanting to know more about the foundation. It got me searching for that story. I realized that I have never told the story in full on the blog… just snatches here or there.

So, here you go. This is the story from beginning to end. Parts of this story have been told before, but this brings it all together.

In 2006, I set as a goal to ride my first metric century [link]. It was also the first year I took up riding the road bike. The idea of riding past 64 miles was daunting!

I chose to ride in the Stars and Stripes Challenge which was associated with the USA Cycling Professional Championships and would be raising money for cancer research. Admittedly, at the time, I wasn’t concerned with the charitable aspect of the event. I just wanted to have an organized event to help motivate me to my goal.

This did bring the concept of riding bicycles as a way to raise funds to my attention. This became more important to me when a friend of mine, Michael T. McCaskill, learned that he had a cancerous brain tumor. During that ride, I pinned a paper to my back that read, “In honor of Mike McCaskill.”

When 2007 rolled around I had been bitten by the cycling bug and was in it full bore. So, I began planning earlier for the Stars and Stripes Challenge [link]. This time I wanted to bring greater awareness to my “riding for Mike.” I had a logo designed to go on a jersey and converted LowCadence.com over to a special “Ride for Mike” site to help raise funds for the principle charity of the SSC.

My idea was to ride the event in the jersey and then present it to Mike when I was done. Unfortunately, Mike passed away in June. We went ahead and had the jersey finished and decided to ride the September event in Mike’s memory.

It was an emotional experience. The ride stayed with me even after it was completed. The encouragement it offered to Mike’s family really impacted me. While riding the roads around Greenville, my mind would day dream of ways to repeat the experience. It was during these sessions that the commitment to do Ride for Mike each year was born.

I determined at that time I would ride each year an “epic” style ride in memory of my friend. I would use it to raise money for charitable causes. It would start in 2008 when I joined a group of cyclists riding from Greenville to Austin to take part in the LiveStrong Challenge [link].

Once again I was blown away with the emotional impact these types of activities have on people who are struggling with cancer and other life challenges. It lead me to join the Palmetto Peloton Project for the 2009 ride as well. I will always have fond memories of that event [link] and will be bound as friends with my fellow riders for ever.

However, something kept coming to my mind. I felt that the story of Mike was getting lost in the larger story of the battle against the faceless enemy of cancer. I didn’t want to always ride to fight what killed him. My desire was to ride to celebrate what he lived for.

In 2010, I went out on my own. The Ride for Mike would celebrate what Mike lived for [link]. This time I would be raising money for a scholarship that bore Mike’s name. Also, it would be the first event planned specifically for the Ride for Mike and not be a part of another charitable event.

The 720 miles of the 2010 Ride for Mike gave me lots of time to think! I rode from Memphis (where Mike was born) to Greenville (where he went to college) and then to Raleigh (where was a youth pastor at the time of his death). It was THE most challenging thing I have ever done in my life.

On that ride I further dreamed what I would like to see happen with the Ride for Mike. I knew that at some point I would run out of “epic events” to ride. I also realized that Mike would want me to reach out to others just as he would.

That brings us to the 2011 Ride for Mike which was a single-day 220 mile ride from Greenville to Charleston [link]. This Ride for Mike would be for little Rebekah Grace Ellis. She has a congenital heart defect and she had traveled that route many times to visit the Medical University of South Carolina. We would raise money to help cover the incidental medical expenses the family faced.

It was from this Ride for Mike that the I Do It For Foundation was born. I knew that to keep the memory of Mike alive as I had promised to do back in 2007, I would need to make this bigger than myself. What if there were thousands of people doing a Ride for Mike… Ride for Jane… Ride for – you fill in the blank?

The purpose would be two-fold: 1) help these individuals with their financial needs, and 2) offer them emotional support by focusing on THEM instead of the ENEMY. I’ve come to realize that the second objective often means a lot more than the amount of money raised. All of this would be done at zero cost to the people seeking to raise the funds.

So, in 2012, I was joined by Michael T.’s dad, Mike McCaskill and several others supporters to raise money for the infant idea. It was Mike’s first full century ride. Once again, for a whole new reason, the opportunity filled me with a new emotion [link]. Now, Mike and I had a shared experience and a shared goal.

We were able to use the funds to get the foundation incorporated, apply for 501c3 status and start the process of getting materials together for the launch of the foundation for September 2013. Where will the foundation go from there? That will really depend on you.

We are committed to keep the foundation alive in memory of Mike. However, it is up to others to pick up the challenge to do their own I Do It For events [link]. Already, we have jumped the gun and cobbled together ways to help individuals seeking to make an individual difference through personal fund raising. Our September kick off event is still over a month away and already we have raised thousands of dollars to encourage individuals.

I don’t even know how to end this post. There are so many things that have not been said. There are so many opportunities that lie ahead. The story is really only beginning.

Continuing to grow

Members of Team Low Cadence after a ride in Memphis, Tennessee

Members of Team Low Cadence after a ride in Memphis, Tennessee

A special thanks to all the riders, runners and triathletes who have joined with us in Team Low Cadence. We are now over 40 strong.

We now have team members in South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, and Thailand. It has been amazing to watch them all come in. It certainly isn’t because of anything I am doing! The team members are recruiting others simply by showing the passion they have for the mission of the I Do It For Foundation.

We are only a month away from our “show of force” at Memphis In May. It should be our first large gathering of the team. We’ll be getting the word out about the Run. Bike. Fun. Challenge event coming up in September. Several of us will also be competing in the triathlon that weekend.

Planning is also underway for at least two I Do It For ___ events. We hope to have promotion of them underway this summer with the events happening this fall. I appreciate the team members who are stepping forward to get the ball rolling on these even when all the piece are not in place.

Speaking of those pieces. I am meeting with the Web For Good (Go to: www.webforgood.org) team this Friday. They will be providing a preliminary presentation of the brand and messaging for the foundation. Then it will be on to the discovery phase where the entire Internet structure will be scoped out. Then it will be time to build!

The goal is to have the IDoItFor.org website application finished and operational before September. I can’t wait for it to be done. Once it is, I’ll feel a lot better about being able to tell the story of the foundation. Once we have that tangible tool available… WATCH OUT!

I must also admit that I need that tool. If we tried to cobble together what is needed to carry out an I Do It For ___ event each time without automation and shared applications, I would be overwhelmed. As it is, we wouldn’t be where we are today without some of the people you see in the picture above.

Much has been done. There is still more to do. Thank you, THANK YOU! to all the Team Low Cadence members for the hard work they are putting into making the I Do It For Foundation a reality.

Thank you, friends

Michael T. McCaskill's dad, Mike, and his sister, Beth.

Michael T. McCaskill’s dad, Mike, and his sister, Beth.

Seeing all these I Do It For Foundation kits going out the door is a major shot in the arm. I’ve enjoyed seeing pictures of a number of them popping up in Facebook and Twitter feeds. So far, I’ve seen at least one other one in person while riding the road. More should be delivered to Team Low Cadence members over the next couple of days.

I need to give a thank you to Chris Hartzler for the great design. I wasn’t sure exactly what to think as I viewed the original design. One think I did know, is that I trust his design sense and knew it wouldn’t go wrong. I was right. Seeing the kit in person had me saying, “Oh yeah!”

Thanks also to Hincapie Sportswear. These guys and gals helped us get the apparel on time. Everyone has been happy with the quality. I know I am enjoying it.

The “team” continues to grow. We’ll be receiving triathlon and running apparel from Nimblewear before the Memphis In May event. We’re going to have your active sports covered!

You can join Team Low Cadence as well. It is pretty simple… just go to the menu above and click on join the team. You will then be given options to join one of the active sport teams — Running, Triathlon or Cycling.

Yes, there are some growing pains as well get the foundation off the ground. Our goal is by the September Ride. Run. Fun. Challenge event to have the final systems in place to make more simple the process of joining and getting your apparel. It makes us appreciate even more those who have pioneered this process with us!

Thank you, friends… those who have helped make this possible and those who are joining with us to make the foundation a reality. YOU are Team Low Cadence. The I Do It For Foundation would not happen without you.


Updated and official Team Low Cadence flyer

UPDATE: Team Low Cadence has been closed. I Ride For ____ gear is now available without being a member of the team. Opportunity to order kit will open periodically.

The updated and official Team Low Cadence flyer is now available. You can see the images of the two-sided flyer and also download the printable PDF below. Here is a call to all team members to print this out and get out there to recruit more of us. We currently have 30 team members. Let’s keep growing!

Official Team Low Cadence Flyer

Official Team Low Cadence back


You download the flyer here [link]. For best results, it is suggested that you take the file to be printed at a service such as Kinkos. It is possible to print this on a color ink-jet printer, but the quality will not represent the original work.

Come along and join the team! We’re just getting started and the future is wide open. We’re excited already by the success we’ve seen. Be a part of it!

IDIF Flow Chart

Maybe I have lost my mind

Another tangible step is made to bring the I Do It For Foundation to reality: We now take donations online. This is also where the rubber meets the road. It is a scary thought to think that we are a start up whose business plan is to provide services and product for free. I think it is important as we ask people to help support our foundation to explain how it works.

We exist to provide event promotion and fund raising services for at no cost to those seeking to help an individual in need. While we are pleased to offer these services free, providing these tools and materials is not. It is why we have set up a 501c3 charitable organization.

One unique thing about I Do It For is that we’re proud to say that 100% of the money you give is for administrative and promotional expenses. That is kind of the opposite of what you would expect. What you need to understand is that means we make it possible for others to give 100% of what they are able to raise toward the person in need they seek to support.

IDIF Flow Chart

We are able to use economies of scale to provide for free services and promotions that an individual or smaller charity could not. A key component of this will be a web tool that allows us to replicate an unlimited number of I Do It For Campaigns. It costs us no more to launch 100 sites as it does 1. Our primary expense is up front as we build the system.

Another important part of the plan is to provide a number of promotional items that can be personalized to show support to those being encouraged and helped financially. This will be the primary ongoing expense. Since we are providing these items free to those using them to fund raise, we must pay for them some way. We do not want to take the expense of those items out of the money being given toward the need. The good news is that once again the more we purchase the better discount we can get for volume.

It is exciting to think that your money donated to I Do It For is multiplied and as the foundation grows the return on your investment will grow as well.  Your investment in the start up of this foundation can have a long-lasting and exponential benefit to thousands of people in need of financial and emotional support. Will you please consider giving today?

You can start now at idoitfor.org/donate

Thank you!

You start before you finish

I was excited to see the I Do It For Foundation’s Run. Ride. Fun. event appear on the Start 2 Finish website yesterday. It makes all of this seem more of a reality. Check it out at S2FEvents.com.

IDIFRBF-logoThe link leads to the cobbled together I Do It For Foundation website. The funny thing is that the announcement went live on S2FEvents.com on the day that I jerry-rigged the site in order to promote the Ben Renkema fund. So, when people clicked to learn more about the event, they were taken to the IRideFor.org/Ben page.

That is how things have been for the last few months. Starting up a foundation like IDIF is not easy! You don’t have a lot of money and so you have to spend your time. You don’t have a lot of time and so you are always flying by the seat of your pants!

However, you have to start somewhere. If you never start, you have zero chance of finishing. That is what I plan to do. Yes, we have a strategy for moving forward. There is no doubt that by summer IDIF is going to  not only be the tool we envision, but it will also be presented in an excellent manner. Until that time, I don’t plan to sit on my hands when it comes to seeking to fulfill our mission.

I guess where the rubber meets the road comes down to dollars. I may have a little bit of time to spend cobbling things together, but in order for IDIF to be what we hope for at the “finish line” it is going to take money — and not a little bit of it. We can do what we can to help, but we will be most effective when our strategy is put in place.

Can you help? We need to raise $12,000 for the phase one of our online system. This system is the operational heart of the foundation. With it, we will be able to take IRideFor.org/Ben and projects like it to a whole new level.

I’m not just putting this out there to inform everyone. I’m putting this out there as a serious request. We have been sharing the story of I Do It For ___ for sometime now. You have been able to follow along with us from the germination of the project in my mind. I want you to be there with us at the finish… I want you to be a part of it.

Contact me about helping to make IDoItFor.org a reality. I am asking you to start with me by giving. That giving will bring us to the finish. We’ll celebrate there together!

Ben Renkema

I Ride For Ben

Recently, I missed out on the chance to be an encouragement to someone because I didn’t feel that what I could offer was adequate. Well, this morning a new situation was presented to me and I determined I would not make the same mistake twice. For that reason, I’m asking you to join with me and others in the cycling community to help Ben Renkema.

Special thanks goes to Vince Schmidt and Finish Strong for jumping on this quickly to help meet the needs of Ben and his family. I Do It For is simply coming along side them to help encourage others to participate. I trust you will.

Ben RenkemaBen suffered a major cycling crash on Saturday, February 9 in the Category Pro 1/2 race at the Hincapie Spring Training Series. Ben broke his collar bone and shattered his scapula. Unfortunately, Ben’s family does not currently have any health insurance. The Finish Strong Elite Cycling Team [link] along with Globalbike [link] (Ben’s race team) are partnering together to help raise funds for his medical expenses.

That is where I Do It For comes in. We are giving a pound of Low Cadence Coffee to those people who give $40 or more to help Ben. Simply to go to IRideFor.org/Ben [link] and fill out the simple form. You will then be directed to the Finish Strong donation page where you can fulfill your pledge. We will then be in contact with you to arrange for the delivery of those peppy little beans on a mission… Low Cadence Coffee.

Tell your friends to join in! They can give and receive the Thank You! coffee from IRideFor.org/Ben [link] or just go directly to the Finish Strong donation page [link].

I just donated. Will you?

Not always what you say

Seems so small [link]” resonated with a good number of readers. I was talking with the Beautiful Redhead about the t-shirts for Lurtey’s last night. We talked about making them available for Todd’s friends at school. It raised an interesting question.

“But they aren’t doing a ride,” Annette questioned. “Don’t you think that people will question what the ride is?” Her mentioning this wasn’t the first time this came to my mind. It was one of the things that held me back in the first place.

I realize that it is more a matter of pride. It would make a lot more sense if the t-shirts said, “I Do It For ____” on the front instead of “I Ride For ____”. Should you hold back expressing a sentiment just because it isn’t perfect? I believe not.

IDIF t-shirt (back)

The purpose behind the t-shirts is the same. It is to cause people to stop… as they have on numerous occasions… and ask, “Who is Mike?” or “Who is Todd?” You then get an opportunity to draw attention to a brave person fighting a harsh battle. When you get to that point, it doesn’t matter whether it is “I Ride For ___”, “I Run For ___”, or “I Tri For ___”.

Yes, we will do all of those t-shirts as various I Do It For ___ projects get started. However, I do realize that we need to also create an “I Do It For ___” option. There are people who might not be able to do a ride, run or other active sport event. However, they do want to express solidarity with someone they love. They do want to perhaps help someone doing an active event.

The key for me is that the statement on the back of the shirt is always the same, “I am not a ribbon, a color, or a disease. I am a person. I have a name. Do it for me.”

Don’t wait until things are perfect. If you have something in your hand, use it. That exercise will help grow you to something better. In the mean time, you are helping someone. It’s not always what you say. It is that you said it at all.

Seems so small

Last night in church my daughter’s cell phone alerted her to a text. Of course, being the dad, I cut an eye over to her and reminded her to silence her phone. Afterward I asked her what the message was about. She told it me that it was a reply to a message started earlier by some friends concerning her school mate, Todd Lurtey.

I Ride for Todd

Todd is a young high school student fighting a rare form of cancer. The text in question was concerning some challenging news that the Lurtey’s had just learned. Todd’s aunt posted the following on a Facebook community page dedicated to supporting the family in this time of trial:

The doctors came back and said that Todd has an inoperable, highly aggressive tumor. There is no more course of treatment for him, so they removed all his tubes (including feeding) and released him to go home. Todd went to church this morning. Through the kindness of a friend, the family leaves tomorrow morning to go on a spontaneous trip to Florida for the week! Pray for precious family time for the Lurteys and strength for Todd for the week.

I must say that I read that message with sadness and also some guilt. You see, some time ago I had contacted the Lurtey’s wanting to show them a small level of encouragement. I had asked Brenda, Todd’s mother, for t-shirt sizes for the family. I was going to put Todd’s name on them and then deliver them along with some Low Cadence coffee.

She got back to me with the sizes and I asked a follow up question about whether to deliver them to her husband at work or do something else. In my defense, at that time I wasn’t sure if they were home or at a hospital somewhere. However, the bottom line is I didn’t follow up and the t-shirts and coffee were not delivered. It ended up on my “Oh, man, I’ve got to do that!” list.

Then last week the Beautiful Redhead signed up to take a meal to the family. The date she signed up for would be tomorrow.  I felt redeemed! I would deliver the shirts and coffee when we took the meal over to their home.

Then last night the text came. The Lurtey’s are in Florida. We won’t be taking the meal tomorrow.

It is a small thing. It is actually such a small thing that it almost seems embarrassing. T-shirts and coffee. It seems so insignificant compared to what the family is facing at this time. In their case, I think my heart would cry, “T-shirts? How is this going to change anything?”

Well, the fact is it won’t… it won’t change anything about Todd’s cancer. However, I don’t think the Lurtey’s are going to respond that way. To them those I Ride For Todd t-shirts will be a tangible reminder of a greater community of people who are praying for them and supporting them. Some of them they have never met, but those hearts still ache with them.

I learned a valuable lesson in this. Don’t wait to show your concern. If you are moved to give a hand of encouragement, don’t wait until a more opportune moment. Do it then… no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Your small act of kindness added to the acts of others becomes a mountain of solace for someone hurting.

Pray for Todd and his family. Pray specifically at this moment that their time together in Florida will have the glow of the divine around it. Pray that there will be a comfort and grace that will bring laughter to their hearts and each moment they have together will be moments of joy. That will be something that they can take with them into the days… months… years ahead.