Gracson Morris is an employee at Cummins Mid-South based in Memphis, TN. When his boss asked him to go Over the Edge in 2011, he not only took on the challenge, he became the top fundraiser for the entire state. Below, he takes us through his experience.
My boss, Tom Owens, VP of Operations for our Northern Division, approached me about the opportunity to participate in the event. It seemed like a very cool opportunity. Also, our company has a great attitude around fundraising and I knew that we would have tons of support … especially for such a fun event.
Our company wanted to raise a total of $10,000 originally. We had a blast drumming up support for this event. Due to my travel volume, I’m out at our locations frequently. So, I’ve been able to meet a lot of our employees. I think since they know me pretty well, they had more fun donating knowing the person it was going to support. Additionally, we had a lot of fun with email communication across the company.
Have fun with it. Make it a “joke” by having the person(s) going Over the Edge the butt of jokes (e.g. Help push Person X Over the Edge! Support the fall of “Person X”). We did that (of course all in fun), but people enjoyed donating to this “gag” and it drove the donations through the roof.
The best part of the experience was meeting some of the athletes that participate in Special Olympics events. We can learn a lot from those folks … they rarely have a bad day, always smiling. They can help you see beyond the small frustrations of our daily lives. As for being scared, I was not scared until I had to lean back over the edge of the building. That was terrifying! I got over it by just doing it. I didn’t really have an option once I was harnessed up, looking over the edge, and hearing the cheers of the 8-10 folks that came to watch me.
I would definitely consider participating again. We probably would have started raising money sooner! We could really have blown the records away.
You can have this experience, too! Over the Edge will take place in three cities this fall: Kansas City, St. Louis and Jefferson City. Learn more at www.somo.org/edge