Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You Can Help: Fundraising

The Orphan crisis is massive.  While most numbers still range at 143 to 147 million orphans, UNICEF is now pushing numbers closer to 163 million.  That means the number of orphans has risen by 20 million in 5 years (when I first began hearing these numbers).  That is staggering.  However, one by one something CAN be done.  You can do it. 

Often the reasons people give for not doing something is not being called to do it.  I won't argue who is called and who is not called to adopt.  However, I do argue that because orphans are God's heart, we as believers are called to take care of them.  One way to do that is to fundraise.  These funds can go to a family that's adopting, a family fostering, an orphanage (such as Eagle's Nest in Guatemala), an organization that helps orphans (such as Lifesong for Orphans), or an organization that helps families who are adopting to raise finances (such as Show Hope). 

Garage Sale
Garage Sales are awesome ways to clear out the clutter in your house and raise money for the orphan.  Take one week a year to dedicate to this.  Hang a sign that tells where the proceeds are going (and the percentage that is going there--you don't want to trick people into thinking that 100% goes to families when you only plan on donating 50%).  Often when people see that money is going to a good cause they are apt to buy more or give more.  Ask friends and relatives to donate items they are no longer in need of to make the garage sale bigger and more profitable.  Make sure you know about the organization/family that the funds are being given to and include pictures if possible.

Craft Sale
Do you craft items (jewelry, hair bows, scrap-booking pages)?  Make them and sell them. 

Recently I've seen some very powerful fundraising done on Facebook.  Set up a group and encourage people to donate.  This is especially significant if you put a challenge behind it such as: It will take 18 months for this family to receive a referral so donate in 18's ($.18, $18, $180).  

Host a Big Ticket Event
Host an event that is "big" and sell tickets to it.  Some ideas include: Daddy/Daughter dance, Valentine's Couples Banquet, Dinner Theater.  You will have to spend a bit of money to make this event possible.  Rally friends around you to help keep cost low but value of the night high.

Make sure you always pray over an event and give God the glory for the success He has allowed you to have.  Do your research before supporting a cause or organization.  I know many families in the adoption/foster world who would be thrilled to hand over fundraising to a friend so they could concentrate on paperwork and home-studies.  Check out more fundraising ideas here or here.

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