By Vicki Hunter, Summerland Credit Union and Cambodian Challenge participant 2014
“To do something so extreme and knowing that the end result is to help someone else is so very rewarding.”
Vicki is part of a team of CUFA Leadership Challenge participants travelling to Cambodia in early July to cycle across the country, challenging themselves physically and mentally whilst visiting CUFA’s development projects in some of the poorest parts of the country.
With support from her local community she shares of her experience of the first component of the Challenge Program, running fundraising events to give Cambodian children the opportunity to learn basic financial literacy and develop good savings habits from an early age.
To be ‘The Chosen One’ to represent my Credit Union in this challenge, is a privilege. I am a very determined person, and when I set myself a challenge, I endeavour to reach it.
I am hoping that this challenge will help me develop my existing knowledge on the issues faced by developing countries, and will hopefully make me more aware of the little things that we all take for granted every day. I feel this opportunity will make me a (mentally) stronger person, and will help to make me a better leader in my workplace. I have read the blogs of previous challengers, and it makes me even more excited than I already am. The hard part for me, will be leaving my beautiful children behind, but knowing that I may contribute the smallest part of ensuring a brighter future for this next generation, will be reward in itself.
I never saw myself as a fundraiser, and certainly felt I would struggle to reach the $3300, but as I mentioned, I am a very determined person, and I usually rise to a challenge!
I had several successful fundraisers it certainly helps to have the backing of your work mates, and your employer. I started with having a jumping castle at a few local events, these raised a few hundred dollars each time. Then my supervisor & I came up with the brilliant idea of ‘Raffling a Day Off Work’. HR approved ‘Special Leave’ for the winner, my supervisor approved relief to cover for the day, and everyone, up to the CEO could enter! I raised over $500 for this raffle, and the winner was very happy.
What is my absolute best fundraiser? It would have to be cycling for 8 hours in one day, and get people to sponsor you, per hour, Insane? Yes. Do-able? Yes. I approached the local bike shop, and he donated a cycling shirt, and the use of a bike & simulator for the day (I completed the ride in the front window of our main branch). Our local sports shop donated a pair of shoes, socks, a drink bottle and head & wrist bands. In return, I provided free advertisement in our window all week.
I trained hard for this, for weeks I was riding from 2 – 4 hours a day. I had no plans on failing. I put an ad in the local paper, got the local radio to speak on the morning of my ride. it was great. The amount of people that showed their support was amazing. We had staff with collection tins, taking turns all day, standing out the front to tell all the bemused spectators and passer-byes what I was doing, and why. By the end of the 8 hours, I could not have peddled any more. My black riding nicks were white with salt, and I could hardly walk. I cycled 190kms in the 8 hours! My Australian Cycling Coach friend was very proud of me, and said that it was quite a feat (for an amateur). In total, for one day, I raised just over $3000.
I have never been so mentally & physically exhausted at the same time. To do something so extreme and knowing that the end result is to help someone else is so very rewarding.
By the time I transfer the last of my collected monies over, I feel I should be very close to, or hopefully hit $8000. I know this money will be well spent, and I can’t wait to arrive in Cambodia to see all of the wonderful work CUFA has been doing. Knowing I will be part of this, and helping these children better their futures is so exciting. I am also looking forward to meeting the other challengers for this trip, and to hear from those who went last year.
I would like to finish by thanking CUFA and Summerland Credit Union for this amazing opportunity.
Challengers visit CUFA Children’s Financial Literacy Program (CFL), a program delivering financial literacy to 12,000 children in more than 40 schools across Cambodia, funded on an annual basis by the fundraising efforts of the CUFA Leadership Challengers.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the challenges CUFA runs for corporate teams and individuals please call CUFA on 1300 490 467. To donate towards the CFL program please visit www.cufa.com.au/donate