Saturday, August 16, 2008

The New and Improved (well, new anyway) Alyn Fundraising Spiel

So, I finally drafted my fundraising letter. Nu, what do you think? Will it work?

Dear ________,

Hi! It is that time of year again! Time for me to be in touch with you and to hit you up for money while apologizing for not being in touch for a zillion years. Or rather, to be more accurate, for one year. You know, since the last time I hit you up for money. No matter—once again, I have several thousand dollars to raise and it is time for me to dust off those tried and true desperate measures.


Once again I have decided to participate in the five-day, nearly three hundred kilometer Wheels of Love Alyn International Charity Bike Ride and I am asking you to please, please, PLEASE sponsor me. Alyn Hospital, a private non-profit hospital in Jerusalem, is one of the world's leading specialists in the active and intensive rehabilitation of infants, children and adolescents (regardless of religion or ethnic origin) and is Israel’s premier center for the rehabilitation of young children and adolescents. Over the years, the hospital has developed a wealth of expertise in the treatment of: trauma and head injuries from road and domestic accidents and terrorist attacks, neuro-muscular diseases, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, congenital deformities, patients needing intermediate ventilation, special feeding management, pediatric orthopedics and rehabilitation of cancer patients and those with severe burns. Alyn takes the kids that most other places cannot, and works miracles. But these miracles cost money and that is where I (and hopefully you) come in. Your tax-deductible donation would help cover the shortfall that Alyn has for each child, each day. Last year, the bike ride raised over three million dollars for the hospital.


"Help Gila to Actualize her Subconscious Death Wish!"

For those of you who were expecting something as…ummm…quirky as 2007's "Help Gila Get Laid" slogan, I apologize. My mental energies have been rather taken up with a new job and then coming home and catching up on CSI reruns. I did think about reusing the 2007 slogan on the basis that it was creative and—based on the fact that I made my fundraising quota—effective. I decided against it, on the basis that 1) it was funny the first time but not likely to be quite as amusing in a second showing and 2) having actually participated in the 2007 ride, I now know that that "getting laid" and "doing a five-day bike ride with a lot of married Haredim (ultra-orthodox Jews)" are mutually exclusive. As such, use of the slogan would comprise false advertising at best and fraud at worst. Now, as an accountant, I really cannot afford to have my name mixed up with any fraudulent monkey business. Or fraudulent lack-of-monkey-business, as the case may be.

Accordingly, this year's slogan is simple—less titillating, but probably more accurate and to the point. I mean, I am going to hurling myself down MOUNTAINS at enormous speeds and on a bicycle? Why in the name of G-d am I doing this? Why can I not be satisfied with writing a check? Perhaps I need more hobbies? Perhaps I need to up the dosage on the happy meds? Or perhaps I should take up drinking, or use of illegal substances? Perhaps a combination of the above; I could make drinking and smoking crack my hobbies? Whatever—I am still trying to figure it out, and will probably still be wrestling with the question in November, even as I dodge large rocks and gravel and try to keep all of my major body parts and organs intact through the end of the ride. In the meantime, as a temporary measure, I am chalking it up to a subconscious death wish. Because it is already August and I need to start fundraising already. I hope you like it. More to the point, I hope you like it enough to sponsor me.

Because, you know, the helping the little kiddies is not a good enough reason.

It is possible to donate money in several different ways:

The easiest way is to donate online in NIS or US or Canadian dollars. Go to the WOL 2008 Participants page. In the "WOL" dialogue box, select "WOL 2008". In the "search by" dialogue box, select "first name begins with". In the next filed, type "Gila". As of now, I am the only one. Recognize the photo? No? Means you have not been reading my blog. Bad you! But never mind, I will take your money anyway. (I am just nice that way). Underneath my profile, you will see options to donate in various currencies and for various types of receipts. Click your favorite!

By telephone at the ‘Wheels of Love’ office in Jerusalem, at 02-6494235.
Dump it in the Tip Jar on the side of my blog and then email me at so I can go to Paypal and send the $ to Alyn. (Not the way to go if you need a receipt for tax purposes or if you are concerned I will abscond with it).

If you are of the “check’s in the mail” persuasion, checks made out to Alyn Hospital can be sent to: Alyn Hospital (figures, doesn’t it?) Public Relations Dept., PO Box 9117, Jerusalem 91090. Of course, please specify that you are sponsoring me!

A receipt for the donation will be delivered to you in the mail. It is also possible to donate through one of the chapters of the Friends of Alyn Hospital around the world. Further details are available on the ‘Wheels of Love’ website





Anonymous said...

"A receipt for the donation will be delivered to you in the mail"

This is absolutely true. I donated via the website, and got a receipt within a couple of weeks.

Gila said...

Thanks for donating! :)

Gila said...

Thanks for donating! :)

sparrow said...

This is wonderful what you are attempting (thought of going in for London 2012?).

Er, how would a Kiwi donate? Sending US$ drafts is thievingly expensive.

Anonymous said...

sparrow, why wouldn't you just mail a cheque in NZ currency? To the best of my knowledge, the bank would convert it to NIS when Alyn deposits it.

Or (if the time difference and your phone plan permit), you could call the number Gila provided and give your credit card number. Of course, you'd have to specify your donation in NIS and then you'd be debitted the equivalent in Kiwi kurrency.

Anonymous said...


RivkA with a capital A said...

Go Gila!!!

Just curious, since you mentioned that Alyn treats everyone, Jews, Arabs, religious, secular -- what it the ethnic breakdown of the participants? From your letter, it sounds like it's a bunch of chareidi men... and you.


Can you give us some stats?

How many men? How many women? How many kids under 18? How many Jews? Arabs? How many chareidim? s'rugim? hilonim? whores of Babylon?

Just curious....

Gila said...

Sparrow--will check into it.

RivkA--I took a fair amount of literary license. Participants were of a variety of ages, from all over the world and of various observance levels. A very rough guess--probably a heavy concentration in the conservative to modern orthodox specturm, but it was not as though I conducted a poll. It also probably varies based on where people were from. The Israelis doing the five day ride--probably more observant/Jlem based. The Israelis doing the one-day Galgalyn ride (at least last year) we got a nice influx from the merkaz. Before anyone starts slamming us in the Merkaz as selfish bastards, please allow me to point out that 1) Alyn has grown through word-of-mouth--started from the Jlem community and grew from there and 2)unless they have a reason to have heard of it, most people outside of Jlem seem to have no clue what Alyn is. (Kind of the same way that most Yerusalmim have never heard of Makom Acher or Beit Shanti).

This year I noticed lots and lots of Alyn posters in my bike-shop here in Tel Aviv. It will be interesting to see if there are more Tel Avivim involved. Last year, none of the guys at my bike shop had heard anything about the ride. (I heard about it from a friend in Jlem who does it).

Batya said...

My son was there for 2 weeks, 18 years ago, after being hit by a small truck and spending 2 weeks in ein kerem hadassa.
B"H, he's fine, but the hospital was terribly anti-religious. I spent his first Shabbat with him, and the nurses didn't want me to light candles--any place.

There were no Shabbat activities, even though there was a shul, patronized by some neighborhood people. His bed, he was in traction, took up the only free space, which was the Ezrat Nashim, so I couldn't doven.

Gila said...

Batya--your comment reminds me of a story I once heard. A sick, observant Jew went to a rabbi with advice. He had to choose between two doctors. One was religious, but mediocre. The other was secular, but considered by all to be the best in his field. Which doctor should he go to? The rabbi's answer was unequivocal: go to the better doctor. G-d, for reasons of His own, had given him the ability to heal (as it were).

I have also used Magen L'choleh a few times to get advice in respect to physicians (most recently when I had cancer). The rabbi there (am blanking on his name--sorry!) did not appear to use observance levels as a criteria for evaluating competence.

Assume that Alyn is completely "anti" (which I doubt). Even so, G-d for reasons of His own, gave this place the ability to heal your son and to heal so many other people's children. Please, support it for that.

Or ask yourself the same question: would you prefer to have taken your son to a lesser, but really observant place?

Out of curiosity--are there any lurkers who can give some explanation or update in respect to the candle/synagogue situation?

Anonymous said...

will take you directly to Gila's page where you can donate

now, Batya, why are you so negative?
A hospital, with all the surgical spirit, oxygen cylinders, bedding, drapes and so on and so on und so weiter etctera is not the place to leave candles lying around. Full stop. Punkt.

Anonymous said...

Batya, have a look at Philips or Viatek rechargeable candles.

Asher invite Gila for a dinner in a shabby restaurant.