Nov. 29 was Giving Tuesday, when nonprofits, ministries and other groups who thrive on goodwill press the public and their benefactors for much-needed donations.
Next time around they may want to consider getting Allison Dickson’s help to boost contributions.
The 37-year-old Baylor Law graduate, who has lived with a rare form of muscular dystrophy most of her life, has been making headlines — again — with her fundraising skills.
Baptist News Global and other media outlets reported in early 2016 that Dickson was setting out to raise $50,000 for a scholarship in her name for Baylor law school students. The university gave her five years to hit that target.
She did it in nine months.
Those who know her best aren’t surprised at all.
“Much like the time at 15 months of age when she was diagnosed with MD and given a year to live, or the time in 2014 during a serious illness and 5-month hospitalization when doctors didn’t expect her to ever breathe without life support or talk again (both of which she does), Allison and her support system weren’t daunted,” friend and fellow Baylor Law grad Ethan Lange said in a written statement about Dickson’s latest accomplishment.
Lange said he was amazed when Dickson partnered with high school friend Bill DiGaetano, owner of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema franchises in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, to throw a #TeamAli fundraiser in August. He arranged “As You Wish” Movie Under the Stars, which included a free showing of the film The Princess Bride, food trucks, children’s activities and more.
That event, held in Temple, Texas, closer to Dickson’s home and medical facilities, generated $25,000 all by itself – surpassing the goal.
Successful fundraising is nothing new for Dickson. She and fellow sorority alumni have raised thousands of dollars for the Allison Dickson Delta Delta Delta Scholarship at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, her alma mater.
Dickson’s kindness and positivity inspire others to want to participate in whatever she’s doing, Lange said.
“Her sparkplug spirit is contagious, and her never-give-up attitude will force you to reevaluate the things in life we may grumble about without thinking,” he said.
In an e-mail to BNG, Dickson chalked the accomplishment up to teamwork and generosity. She said she felt joy, gratitude and relief when the $50,000 goal was reached so quickly.
“Time was of the essence as I hoped to be able to see the scholarship in action helping students and hopefully even meeting them,” she said.
And there is definitely a faith component to Dickson’s achievements.
“I truly believe we are God’s hands here on Earth,” she said, adding that the support she has received is humbling.
“In the words of one of my sports heroes, ‘Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.’ God didn’t give up on me,” Dickson said.
She added that one of her favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11, which encourages her to remember to keep moving forward.
“I’m still here for a reason, and I will do all I can to trust God to help me fulfill those plans.”