I was recently involved in a community fundraiser for a nationally known non–profit organization. The way this fundraiser works is, community businesses, churches, hospitals, and organizations form teams and hold fundraisers for a specific period of time. Some businesses give additionally, as sponsors, to help with the operational costs of the event.
This is an annual event, known throughout the city, with approximately 300 people involved each year. Throughout the months and weeks leading up to this event, articles and announcements are printed in the local newspaper, and flyers dot the doors, and windows of nearly every business in town. Signs are posted in front of businesses, churches and hospitals, announcing their status as teams, or sponsors, and event information.
Finally, after a fever pitch of fund raising through bake sales, motorcycle rally’s, raffles, t-shirt sales, and much more, the night of the event arrives. Teams gather at a central location and set up campsites, some elaborately decorated. They fire up grills, and prepare for a night of activities that is something akin to a block party. The night is designed to celebrate and honor the people all the fundraising is designed to help. Traditionally, it's a lot of fun and the talk of the town for weeks afterward. As chairperson of this year’s event, I was pleased with the way everything had gone, the number of teams that participated, and the amount of money raised had broken previous records.
A Missed Opportunity
I stopped one evening, a few days after the event, at a local store that had been a sponsor, as well as having a very productive team. I made my selections, and waited in line to pay for my purchases. When the clerk began ringing up my items, I asked if she had been one of the team members that represented the store.
She bristled at my question, and replied in a defensively, “No, why?”
I explained that I had been involved with the planning, and wanted to thank any team members who participated, and attended the event.
She shook her head, and with a surely grin, informed me that she wasn’t involved because she had her own needs; in fact, she mentioned that she needed a car.
“Oh really,” I asked? “We auctioned a car off at the event for $500.00.”
Her countenance changed; something between shock, and disappointment. Then she mumbled, “Nobody told me.” I paid for my purchase, thanked her, and left the store.
During the drive home, I thought about this girl’s reaction and how many times, like her, I’ve become so focused on my own needs and difficulties, that I miss out on an opportunity to receive a blessing, while reaching beyond my needs and helping others.
It was at that moment, I vowed that I would never let my needs keep me from reaching out. I will not miss out on the opportunity to be a blessing. I am resigned to keep joining teams, selling cookies at bake sales, and raising money in various ways.
Every community has needs and opportunities for you to reach out to others. I have listed just a few of the wonderful organizations you can get involved with. Believe me, it's worth the time and effort to help others.
Relay for Life
- Welcome to the Relay Nation | RelayForLife.org
American Cancer Society's Annual Fundraising Events
Wounded Warrior Project
- Wounded Warrior Project - Home
Wounded Warrior Project Provides programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and transition to civilian life.
- Join the Live United Movement
Because United, we stand. United, we elevate. United, we can change what we see in our world. United Way is focused on the three basic things that we all need for a good life: a quality Education, Income that can support a family, and good Health.
American Red Cross
- American Red Cross
The American Red Cross helps prepare communities for emergencies and keep people safe every day thanks to caring people who support our work. Please support your local Red Cross.
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miss_jkim (author) on February 13, 2012:
Thank you sweetguide, keep reading.
sweetguide from River side on February 13, 2012:
Good one,miss_jkim. Keep writing.
miss_jkim (author) on June 22, 2011:
Very true MsQuestion, reaching out to others in our most difficult times, brings healing and help from sources we may never know existed. Not to mention, it makes our difficulties seem much smaller.
Thanks for your post.
MsQuestion from New Jersey on June 22, 2011:
Sometimes one of the hardest things, is being willing to help when you feel you need help, yourself! But it's worth it,because it really DOES help you....it helps you to feel better about yourself and about life in general. Great hub!
miss_jkim (author) on July 21, 2010:
Volunteer recruitment is by far the most difficult part of the job, but it's really rewarding when you see how enthused they become.
Thanks for stopping by.
Shawn Scarborough from The Lone Star State on July 21, 2010:
This is a great hub! A few years ago I worked for a non-profit and the hardest thing we had to do was find volunteers. Thanks for posting this.
miss_jkim (author) on July 06, 2010:
In volunteering, I've found, it's difficult to get recruits but once they get involved, their hooked. It just takes a lot of encouragement from the leadership. Good job C Ramsdell, keep up the good work
C. Ramsdell on July 06, 2010:
Thank you for this! This will help when convincing people to volunteer with me!
E M Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on July 04, 2010: