Marie and Emma Montafia
Cause: Shake It Up Australia Foundation
Adventure: Camino for a Cure: Trek for Parkinson’s
As our Fundraisers of the Month, Marie and Emma have scored themselves a $50 donation to their fundraising page. To be our next month’s winner, make sure you’re uploading your journey to social and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired.
Please tell us a little about yourselves
Mum is 56 and lives on a sugar cane farm in North QLD She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 51 after noticing a tremor in her finger at the age of 50. Since her diagnosis, she has started her own millinery business which she has had a lot of success with.
I am 24 and live in Sydney, where I am studying a bachelor of education and arts at Sydney Uni. Acting is my passion and I go to acting classes weekly. I also like exercising, reading, and watching Netflix.
What inspired you to sign up to the El Camino trek for Shake it Up? What was your 'why' behind the decision?
Mum and I would love to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease in our lifetime. Mum has always wanted to do a part of the Camino, so when she saw this, she thought it was a great opportunity to challenge herself and do something she’d always wanted to do AND to raise money for a cause very important to her.
My ‘why’, was very similar to Mum’s. I thought this was a great opportunity for us to do something together and make a difference in our own way. I also wanted to do this to support Mum in her Parkinson’s journey.
How are you feeling about the challenge ahead? What are you most looking forward to?
Mum is looking forward to raising as much money as possible for Shake It Up Australia Foundation, and she can’t wait to trek this beautiful walk and meet the amazing people that will be accompanying her on this journey.
I’m really excited about the fundraising and some of the events I have planned. I am so excited about going over to Spain and seeing a beautiful country, and walking the Camino with an inspiring group of people.
"I thought this was a great opportunity for us to do something together and make a difference in our own way. I also wanted to do this to support Mum in her Parkinson's journey."
Have you noticed any changes in your life since taking on your first adventure?
Mum has been overwhelmed by the love and encouragement shown to us, and the incredible generosity of people that are so willing to support us. Mum also finds she has been exercising more as she is working towards this challenge. I too have been shocked by the incredible donations, and I have been so excited about all of the event planning and fundraising that I’ve been doing. I’m finding that I’m really passionate about it and loving every second of it!
How did you promote your page online?
We both put our individual stories up with the donation page link so that people understand the reasons why we are doing this. Mum has also put it on her business page which has a further reach than her individual social media pages. We have shared the link on our Instagram pages, as well as Facebook, to hopefully reach another target audience. Posting stories every few days about our progress or anything relating to the cause/adventure helps.
Do you have any hot tips for online fundraising that worked for you that you think others could apply to their own online approach?
Message good friends and family, who don’t have social media or aren’t very present on social media, about what you’re doing, and add a link to your fundraising page.
Send a private group message to a close circle of friends asking them to share the page and to support you in your fundraising – but send messages to groups that are pre-existing (e.g. work friends, old Uni friends, sporting team friends).
Put your personal story out there, nothing too long, but enough that makes people empathise and want to read the link attached.
Make every post meaningful and different to draw people in.
"Mum has been overwhelmed by the love and encouragement shown to us, and the incredible generosity of people that are so willing to support us. "
Become our Fundraiser of the Month to win a $50 donation to your fundraising page!
Take a picture whilst fundraising for your adventure and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired and your adventure hashtag. The most exciting use of the hashtag, with a fundraising focus will be our Fundraiser of the Month – it’s that easy!
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