Mandy Kopelke

Cause: Plan Australia
Adventure: Plan’s Cycle for Girls
Fundraising Page:
Social: @mandycycles

As our Fundraiser of the Month, Mandy has scored herself a $50 donation to her fundraising page. To be our next month’s winner, make sure you’re uploading your journey to social and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired.

What inspired you to take on your first Inspired Adventure?

Actually it was very spur of the moment! I am on Plan’s mailing list and received an email from Plan International about the Cambodia challenge that really grabbed me – it just seemed to be the right thing at the right time! I wasn’t sure that we could manage it as a family as my husband is away from home with work often, but when I mentioned it to him he immediately said, “Do it! We can work everything out” … so here I am.

Why did you choose to fundraise for Plan International?

Since the email I received from Plan really grabbed me, I went on to read more about the #becauseIamagirl campaign. The story of how the campaign was started by Marianne Raven hit home and made me think about how lucky I was to be born into a society where I had rights, the opportunity to be educated and make a good life for myself and my family. I want my kids to understand that they too are lucky and that there is much we can do to facilitate change and make the world a better place. It only takes 1 small act to start making a difference.

You are clearly really involved and invested in the art of giving back to the community, what do you think is so exciting about being able to take on an adventure as well as give to a cause you care about?

The whole experience is exciting. I have an amazing challenge on the horizon where I will be cycling 350kms through a country I have never visited, and visiting a Plan International project on International Day of the Girl. But this is only part of the story. I am gaining personal confidence, setting goals, learning new skills, getting fit, bringing together my friends and family and all in aid of #BecauseIamaGirl… we are going to make a difference somewhere that needs it most, and what makes it super special is that I am a girl doing it for other girls.

"I am gaining personal confidence, setting goals, learning new skills, getting fit, bringing together my friends and family and all in aid of #BecauseIamaGirl"

What are your total funds raised so far? Are there any key fundraising ideas that have been the bulk of your success?

The fundraising was the scariest part of the challenge for me – I am exceptionally self-sufficient and don’t like to ask anyone for anything… but I have surprised myself. So far I have raised almost $2,000, mainly through donations and small fundraising ideas. I have decided to achieve my goals through lots of small events through the year – a little soon mounts up. This suits the way I work and think. I believe it is important to raise money in ways that suit your personality and personal network so that it is a fun, rewarding and of course successful experience without the stress.

What have been some of the highlights of your fundraising experience so far?

I am an artist and am using my art as a focal point for my fundraising. Last month I released the first series of my “HeArts of Hope” – hand painted wooden hearts, each one uniquely designed, with all profit being donated to my fundraising campaign. They sold out within the week and I already have a waiting list for series 2 which will be released shortly. I will also be donating 75% of the purchase price from 2 of my latest abstract paintings, “Feeling Flowery” and “Babbling Brook”, to the campaign. At the end of May I will also be attending a car boot (and trailer!) sale, selling lots of items that my friends are donating. I’ve used Facebook a lot to advertise what I’m doing to my friends and their response has been amazing. I have a house full of things already, a borrowed trailer and friends volunteering to help on the day. I am very excited to see how we go and feel blessed to have such wonderful friends!

What have been your biggest challenges in taking on an Inspired Adventure? How did you overcome this?

My biggest challenge is by far the fundraising, but I’m finding that little events along the way and the constant talking to people to raise the profile of what I am doing seems to be working. I’ve also started sharing my experiences on Instagram and am loving the motivational comments that people leave.

Have you noticed any changes or transformation in your life since taking on your first adventure?

I am doing something really meaningful and important, so I feel really great about myself.  Understanding more of the background of the campaign has also put life into perspective in many ways. Here in Australia we take a lot for granted. My family is my support team and having them involved every step of the way is also helping them to learn what is important in life. By the time my #cycleforgirls comes around I will also be fit as a fiddle… that change is still in progress!

"It only takes one small act to start making a difference."

What advice would you offer to other people looking to complete a challenge like this?

Go for it! There is a way to get around all the hurdles. Initially the challenge might seem like an elephant sized task, but breaking it down into bite-sized pieces will ensure that you achieve your goals. Getting your family on board with the excitement is important, mine are my ever loving support crew, my children (and husband!) are proud of me and tell everyone that will listen what we are doing.

Fundraiser of the Month

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!