Bryan Chung is one awesome dude. Over the past year, Bryan has run thirty 5K races to raise funds for PED partner schools in Uganda. We had a chance to interview Bryan towards the end of his journey.
1. What inspired you to do this campaign and fundraise for PED?
With my thirtieth birthday looming in the not too distant future, I felt the need to accomplish something that was much bigger than myself. The idea of partying, going out to Vegas, or celebrating my thirty-year milestone in a traditional sense just wasn’t appealing to me. Around spring of 2016, I started to kick around ideas of what I could do to commemorate my birthday by giving back to the world around me. Being a good global citizen as well as a supporter of my local community is what inspired me to actualize the #Chung30for30 campaign. The name of my campaign is, obviously, taken from ESPN, but it just worked out so well, that I could not NOT use it (please don't sue me)!
Once I had my goal in mind, it was easy for me to choose whom to help. When Andrew Bauer began developing Pangea Educational Development many years ago, I was incredibly interested in the program’s success. Being a teacher, I believe championing for the right to an education. PED’s mission gels so well with my worldview that I felt incredibly inspired and motivated to help. PED's "I Am Willing" campaign rang strongly for me. I asked myself, "What am I willing to do?" and “What will have the greatest impact for PED and my community?”
The notion of completing 5K races perfectly fit what I wanted to accomplish. Now, I've never even run a mile without stopping for a break; however, there was nothing physically stopping me from being able to complete these races if I put the time in to train. So, I ditched the excuses and decided that I was going to run thirty 5K races to celebrate my birthday. Most 5K races also help raise funds or awareness of local/national charities. So, it's like a triple whammy of motivation: I get healthier, assist numerous charities and beneficiaries, all while championing my belief that everyone has a right to an education through supporting PED.
2. How did you get involved with our mission?
When PED was just starting out, I could see that it was Andrew's passion, so naturally, I always tried to help him and PED. Whether it was personally giving a financial donation, or collecting shoes for one of their campaigns, I did what I could. For this particular campaign, I reached out to Andrew to see if they had a lead person in charge of their fundraising campaign to talk to about making #Chung30for30 happen. Andrew got back to me right away and we talked about creating a page through their classy.org page. Having never started my own fundraising campaign, Andrew’s knowledge and willingness to help was key to my success.
3. How can people support you?
Support my fundraising campaign! A donation can be made on my page at classy.org/Chung30for30forPED, but there are so many other ways people can help me.
Another way to help is to share my campaign with others. I update my blog whenever I can so you can track my progress and see how I’m doing. I currently have 54 "likes," and assuming all 16 donors were among them, if the remaining 38 people donated $50, the $3000 goal would be met. However, if they share it and if everyone could get at least one person to donate to them, that would be just an average of $25 per person. Giving $25 is a lot easier than $50. The more people that can contribute to my campaign, the more people it would benefit.
4. Do you have any advice for someone wanting to do a fundraiser of their own?
The best advice I can give is to stay engaged. You are the one responsible for the work that’s put into your campaign and the overall success. There are so many people who would love to support you, but you have to engage them and assure them that their hard earned money is truly going to be put to good use. Once you start falling off the wagon on your fundraiser, it's hard to get back up, so you have to stay on top of it. Find every way possible to stay motivated and consistent, and the success will come.
Inspired by Bryan’s story and message. Start your own campaign today!