Four volunteer firefighters, hunting down records. However, titles aren’t their primary goal – donations are. Known as the ‘Blue Helmets Club’, they strive to raise money for children with cancer and send an important message: No violence against emergency workers. Imitations are expressly encouraged, with tips for other charity campaigns in future.
Making a difference, together
“Is it carnival time again already?” As a squad of special tactical police units in full uniform marched towards the exhibition center, the people of Cologne turned their heads to watch. The officers leapt onto spinning bikes and got their legs pumping. After them, firefighters, emergency relief workers and soldiers all took turns in the saddle and, before long, the kilometer count started to shoot up. In total, they pedaled just under 3,200 kilometers, collecting donations in excess of €4,000. This event was the brainchild of the “Club der blauen Helme” – the “Blue Helmets Club” – made up of Ingo, Klaus, Jörg and Daniel. At this year’s FIBO, the world’s leading trade show for fitness, wellness and health, members of the blue-light family came together under the slogan: “No violence against emergency workers”. TV camera crews fixed their cameras on the uniformed cyclists, while a constant crowd of trade fair visitors remained around the attraction. Together with the sportsforcharity foundation, the boys turn the kilometers they pedal into cash. However, FIBO was just the beginning. This year the firefighters plan to launch an event on water and run a marathon in Helsinki, among other things.
They have already raised over €75,000 in donations through previous charitable initiatives. In most cases, they share the funds between different organizations. However, a cancer charity, for children specifically, is always among the recipients. The four firefighters hope to provide motivation and demonstrate that fighting is worthwhile. “After all, these kids can’t just say: I’m not doing chemo today, it’s so annoying,” explains Klaus. His colleague Ingo adds: “Once we’ve started something, we always see it through!” They always have their eyes on their ultimate goal: breaking the €100,000 mark for donations.
How to motivate yourself – and other
tips for your charity drive
Whether you’re taking part yourself or serving in an organizational capacity, a charity run needs sound planning, reliable partners and plenty of time for preparation and follow-up. Ingo, Klaus and Jörg shared some of their tips with us.
Are you a volunteer firefighter? Have you seen a cool campaign you want to recreate? Simply write to the organizers and ask them any questions you have! Do you have any small businesses near you that you could get on board? Don’t hesitate to approach them and outline your ideas. Whether it’s financial support or donated items, both can help you to make your event a reality. It’s important you don’t let rejections discourage you. Instead, set small, realistic goals and share tasks fairly between team members.
Christmas time is prime time for donations! Sponsors are often more interested in charity campaigns and events at the end of the year than at the start. But make the sponsorship request in good time, as many companies often plan their budget in the previous year.
Make sure to inform the police and local authorities of your plans and obtain confirmation they are happy for you to proceed. Who will be liable if something happens? Legal disclaimers are absolutely essential. Draw up a way to produce receipts for donations. This is particularly important for larger firms. It’s also vital that you are transparent in communicating where the money you raise actually goes.
Obviously, how you prepare for your sporting challenge is entirely up to you. At the Blue Helmets Club, we stay active in different ways. The guys train together two or three times each week, which provides a real motivation boost! If wearing your uniform or protective equipment is part of the challenge, make sure to train in it – because the heat accumulates so much more than in sports clothing. Strong back and core muscles can prevent aches and pains later on. A hot bath is a great way to relax and look after your body after the challenge. Above all, you need to keep moving after the event, as compensatory movements can reduce muscle aches later on.