In 2013, people from 65 countries participated in Paying It Forward day. Imagine if each individual looked for the opportunity to help others each day.
Imagine the difference that would make. People are genuinely giving by nature, but many get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If everyone participated in paying it forward even just once in a while, the world would be such a different place.
With my crowdfunding campaign to rebuild our home lost to fire, I will do my share to create a positive ripple effect. My family and I have been without our home for over five years. I’ve crossed paths with so many helpful people while telling our story online. I’d like to pay that forward. With all that we have been through, I’d like to extend some kindness to those who need a reminder that there is good in the world. A percentage of the funds raised through my campaign will go towards starting an organization for other fire or disaster victims. I want to see Just Prevail become a fundraising site for others. It was a huge challenge developing this website and I would like it to benefit others as well. If my tragedy can help others, then it wasn’t all in vain.
I’ve always felt uncomfortable asking for donations. To me, it feels more like “online panhandling.” I want to give contributors to my campaign something in return also. I am going to create some fun and exciting pledge rewards that come from my heart, that represent me and for what I stand true for.
When I began to take my story public. through social media in 2012, I had some wonderful people in my community reach out to me. A young girl, just starting college contacted me and expressed how she wanted to help run some fundraising events. A graphic designer from my area also connected with me and offered her services. What a blessing as I didn’t have the first clue how to either. However I did handle event planning and marketing at my previous job. I named my organization Foundations of Hope. The graphic designer created a logo and we began to brainstorm some events. I also created a Facebook page.
With $0 start up funds, we decided to hold a local bottle drive. The graphic designer created a poster and a local business offered his parking lot to hold the event. The graphic designer also created a pamphlet that we could hand out at the event to raise awareness about bad faith insurance. I printed a small amount on my parents computer. We also held a 50/50 draw. The event was fairly successful and allowed us to hold another small event at a local restaurant with approx 10 vendors.
We held one large event our local community center. It was a Mom To Mom Sale with local vendors, admission and draws. It was here that I secured Once Upon A Child Children’s Store as a major sponsor for my organization. They agreed to help local families with emergency needs after suffering a fire or other major disaster.
I took the opportunity at this event to begin paying it forward for the help I had been receiving. The graphic designer’s son who was about seven years old, had an organization of his own called Book Hunters where he accepts donations of gently used or new books and donates them to local community organizations. Although we could have used the admission fee to our event, I waived it to attendees who brought a gently used book for the boys cause. I don’t remember the exact count now, but I believe it was somewhere around 200 books that we collected for him. See photo below.
The funds raised at these events were eventually used to create this website. I had to change the name from Foundations of Hope to Just Prevail as the domain name had already been taken & it was being sold for $5000.
I’m looking forward to the many blessings that greet me on my journey. From the amazing people who have given me tips to build my website and social networking, to you reading and sharing this and my other articles, it is wonderful to have your support – the world needs more people like you!
UPDATE: See Sherrill’s campaign rewards >>>here