Raise money in one fundraiser

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Possible to raise money in one fundraiser!!

Thursday, 23 December 2010 (Suva Sector) Kids Worldwide supports a variety of projects in various countries around the world by organising international volunteers to go help out. Some of the projects are AM, some are not. This is a story about a boarding school / hostel run by a Christian man in Uganda. His school is in a rural village about 3 hours from the capital city Kampala. It is called Kidron (www.kidsworldwide.org/ugandakidron.htm).

The first volunteer who went to this project, went in 2009. Her name is Caroline, and she is a student from Auckland, NZ. The director was very happy with her and her friend who both went, and so she became the volunteer coordinator for the project, and subsequently booked in interested volunteers and explained to them what they could expect.

On the 23rd December, I got a text saying, "Help! I don't know what to do! I did a fundraiser and I raised $65,000! Please call, Caroline." I assumed that it was Caroline, the volunteer coordinator, but actually it was another Caroline, who is also a student who lives in Auckland. Since I thought that it was Caroline, the volunteer coordinator, I was confused for quite a while, as I was emailing her instead of the other Caroline.

Anyway, Caroline Green went to Kidron in September and stayed for a few weeks. She decided, upon her return, to do a fundraiser for them, as they currently use rented premises. She told all her friends and family that she was organising a Christmas fundraiser. She went to a travel agent and asked if they would be able to donate? or otherwise give at a discounted cost - a ticket for a family to spend a weekend at some kind of holiday trip thing in NZ. Then she organised that this ticket would be auctioned off at her fundraiser. The fundraiser was held at some hotel and they got a group of musicians and organised a cocktail party. Tickets to the evening were $100 each. They printed 250 tickets and she spread the word amongst all her friends as did her parents. She comes from a wealthy area of Auckland, so I can only guess that the people who attended it had a lot of money. She managed to sell every ticket. On the night of the auction, she was expecting that maybe the holiday would go for $2,000 or so, but the top bidder won it for $17,000. Then the person who was outbidded, said that if she could organise another family trip to the same place, he would buy that ticket for $16,000. Of course, she went back to the travel agent and arranged it.

In total, she somehow came up with $65,000!

Now Caroline decided that she would like to register her own charitable organisation - to oversee the spending of the money. She has booked a return ticket to Uganda to go and help start off the construction in mid-February. I guess we will wait and see how it goes for her. This is the next challenge. To ensure that the money she raised is used wisely and accounted for. I wanted to meet with her when I passed through Auckland, but as it was the Xmas and festive season both of us were unable to meet due to family commitments and outings. I will be talking with her on skype later this week.

So, you can see that - if there is a will - there is a way. I never would have thought that it would be possible to raise so much money in one fundraiser in little old NZ!!