Sunday, July 25, 2010

Adopt a Duck Fundraiser

I am pretty sure that anyone who is reading this blog knows that I am doing the 3 Day 60 Mile Breast Cancer Walk again in November. If you haven't been bombarded by my monthly emails giving you the latest and greatest updates on our team's training and fundraising count yourself lucky! If you have been on the receiving end of my monthly updates then you know we have been planning an Adopt a Duck fundraiser event for a while now.

We finally held the fundraiser yesterday and it was so successful that I wanted to share a little bit about with you.

Let me preface this by say, these have been trying times for fundraising. Last year I had reached my personal goal of $2,300 by April with on-line donations by my family, friends and co-workers. With my own personal goal met, I was then able to use my portion of cash raised at our other fundraising events to help boost my teammates who needed a little help to get to their minimum goal. This year has been much harder. It is almost August and I am still over $600 away from my goal. Unfortunately, I am the fundraising front runner for my team and everyone else has even further to go than me.

With that said, we are pulling out all the stops and did the Adopt-a-Duck fundraiser yesterday and have a garage sale next Saturday. One of our members is having a Gold Party tomorrow night and someone else may do that as well. We will do whatever it takes because we are all committed to the cause and we really want to walk.

Here is how the Adopt a Duck thing worked. We bought 288 little pink Breast Cancer rubber ducks from Oriental Trading. It cost a little over $100 for the ducks. We made some signs and set up some tables with information in front of Walmart at 8:00 yesterday morning.

I have the nicest team mates ever and we all showed up and were ready to go! Here is one of the information tables and you can see our little inflatable wading pool on the ground next to it.

A couple of us conned our kids into coming out with us, and I swear they were the magic that made the whole thing so successful.

They approached every single person either coming in or going out and said "Would you like to adopt a duck to help find a cure for cancer?"

Look at these faces. How could they resist? They couldn't.

We had such an amazing response. People opened their wallets, shared their personal stories, thanked us for working for a great cause, and lots of times didn't even take a duck in exchange for their donation! People were so nice. Some went back to their cars to get money. Some drove by, rolled down their window and gave the kids money from their car. I was AMAZED at the kindness that walked in and out of those Walmart doors. From this point forward, when I meet someone really nice I am going to say "That person is Walmart nice!" It will be my highest compliment.

Many people stopped to chat and even if they didn't have any cash, they wished us well on our fundraising. Some were so apologetic and said if I had any cash I would give it to you. Several were cancer survivors themselves or had lost loves ones and they were kind enough to share their story. The most memorable for me was a man, probably in his 40s, that gave my kids a donation and told them to please take a break for him, go give their mom a hug and a kiss and tell her how much they loved her. He had just lost his own mom to cancer the month the before and missed her so much. My kids came running from the other door and attacked me with hugs and kisses. I didn't know what was going on. They both had tears in their eyes when they told me what the gentleman had told them. Of course, that made me tear up. It was just so precious and touching.

My kids were exposed to all walks of life at that Walmart entrance and the lessons they learned I couldn't ever teach them. The people who looked like they couldn't afford to give us a dime, dug through their purse to find a couple of bucks, or sent their husband to the car to scrounge together some money. They gave, they acknowledged us and our mission, they were kind, encouraging and smiled.

The people who were relatively well put together and stereotypically looked like they could afford to drop a couple bucks in your bucket walked by without giving you a glance, much less a smile. Shook their head no even before they got close. I am ashamed to say that is the tactic that I most often take. I might drop some change in a bucket, but I don't spend more than a second passing by. I certainly never would stop to ask why and what they are raising money for. I can tell you this...that four hours in front of Walmart made me a changed woman.

Every organization that sits in front of Walmart has to go through an application process and are legit organizations. So I will give what I can and in the absence of giving money, I will smile, I will inquire into their cause, I will be a human. A good human. A kind human. A human that I can be proud of.

Our ducks were super cute and a great little gimmick to start some conversations. We were just about out of ducks by noon and it was getting hot, our cute little volunteers were fading fast so we wrapped it up.

I am honored to report that after four hours in front of Walmart we collected $752.21 in cash, given by complete strangers. Good humans doing good things for others. I am so glad my kids were there. I was so proud of them for helping me and doing something to help a cause that I believe in. They did it for me, but I hope at the end of the day the lessons we all learned about mankind will serve them all the years of their lives.

If you ever have the opportunity to walk by someone doing a fundraiser I hope this message sticks in the back of your mind and you will slow down, make eye contact, smile, give a little or give a lot. I swear the kindness of others is what makes the world such an amazing place! Be part of it!

1 comment:

  1. Your story has changed me. I rarely if ever donate at those tables but I will from now on.