This is a continuation of a fb fundraiser that ended. Since we cannot restart or extend that one, we are moving it here. Raising money for Chris Kirkwood! Please read the details below.
My Brother, Chris Kirkwood, age 55, has been recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's.
Many of you who may be living with dementia in the family, and certainly those who know Chris, can imagine how this has changed his life. He has given up a job he loved and decided to take early retirement.
But, with his typical optimism and generosity, rather than give up, Chris continues to live a full life and find a way to give back! My family and I want to help and support him.
He has spent his life in the travel industry and traveling and is asking for financial aid for one more specific trip.
In 2006 Chris went on a life changing trip working through Relief Riders International. He spent a couple of weeks on horseback traveling through remote, low income villages in India handing out educational materials to underserved schools, working through the Give A Goat program to donate livestock to low income communities, and setting up medical camps to provide dental, eye, and obstetrics care to populations lacking healthcare.
Now, in spite of his current challenges, he really wants to go on another one of these trips. Because it’s not possible for Chris to travel alone, his nephew, Skylar Bagdon (my son) will accompany him.
Most people fundraise for these trips, but Skylar, having recently graduated from UVM, and Chris, with his recent diagnosis, really need the financial help in order to make this happen. Because of Chris's diagnosis, there is a clock ticking on their ability to make this kind of expedition. I am hoping that friends and family will chip in and help us to raise the needed $18,000 for the two of them to fly to India to participate in the ride scheduled for November of 2022.
One important note is that this is not a non profit (at least this part of it) so you cannot get a charitable contribution tax advantage here. We want to make sure that everyone understands this. The funds will go into a joint account that Chris and I have, and we are happy to share the details of expenses with folks who donate, so you know where your money went. We will also be happy to post a page of photos and track the trip when it happens.
You can learn more about the organization here. at http://www.reliefridersinternational.com/Trip_Pushkar_2022.php
And more about the original fundraiser here https://www.facebook.com/donate/5354714621310725/
For now, what we can tell you is the activities they will participate will include up to the following:
100 free Cataract surgeries
400 Dental screenings & Treatments
12 Goats for Widows and Below Poverty Level families or individuals.
6 months of educational supplies for 1200 children (Pens, pencils, crayons, pencils cases, drawing pads, notebooks, rulers, erasers and sharpeners)
Sporting equipment and Brain games for 3 schools (Each school receives 2 Cricket sets, 2 Volley balls and net, 4 soccer balls with cones, 20 tennis balls, 4 Badminton Racquets, net and box of Shuttlecocks, a carom board)
40 minute Health and Hygiene/Hand-washing interactive talk at all the schools they visit. Thanks for helping us help Chris and Skylar make a difference and have this experience. Feel free to PM me with questions or comments. Kate Kirkwood (Chris's sister)
Update as of 11/19 The above was originally posted on facebook, and we raised about half the money we needed. Knowing we are on limited time, and not wanting to let the opportunity go by, we borrowed the extra we needed and sent them anyway. Now we are fundraising to repay what we borrowed. The trip will be ending soon, but we will keep the fundraiser up through the holidays, and keep adding photos. Please donate if you can. Thanks so much!!!!
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The average share raises $97.