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An Inspiring Raffle

Many thanks to Blake Carroll for a fine and insightful “Impact a Life” college scholarship essay that highlights why selling raffle tickets for your fundraiser is a great way to raise money.

Blake offers up some wonderful and personal insights as to why holding a raffle is not only a great fundraising opportunity but also specifies how it helped raise money for an orphanage in Bolivia.

Blake is a Master of Accounting student at UNC – Chapel Hill. Thanks Blake for your inspiring fundraisers, and best of luck with your studies!

“Impact a Life” Scholarship contributor:  Blake Carroll
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On two separate occasions I created, organized, and executed a fundraiser with the goal of raising money to donate to an orphanage in Bolivia and a children’s ministry in Belize. My mother and sister had been on multiple mission trips to Bolivia in order to help with construction, maintenance, and showing the kids that people cared about them. My mother and I also went on a mission trip to Belize where we ran a vacation Bible school for a large group of severely impoverished children. It was an incredibly rewarding experience, and gave me a new perspective about how blessed I am. The adults that ran the children’s ministry were some of the most inspiring individuals I have ever met. When I returned home from the trip I wanted to find a way to continue to impact the lives of those I had met even if I could not do that in person. The children’s ministry and the orphanage are both severely underfunded, and they have many needs that could be solved if they were able to get their hands on more funding. As I was growing up my favorite sport, and the one I played the most, was baseball. I decided to have a fundraiser that could incorporate the game I love with the people I wanted to help.

The town I played baseball in growing up was Holly Springs, North Carolina. I worked with their parks and recreation department to schedule a series of preseason scrimmages for some of their baseball leagues, and I named the event “extra innings 4 orphans.” One of the main methods we used to raise money was by having a raffle. We had a variety of prizes in the raffle, but the biggest ones were pictures and baseballs autographed by the 2010 American League MVP Josh Hamilton. I went to high school with his cousin and she was able to get merchandise for the raffle signed by him. Other raffle prizes included coupons from local restaurants and sporting goods stores, Carolina Hurricanes tickets, and baseball equipment. We also had a concession stand at the event, but the raffle ended up raising much more money.

We have had the event two years now, and both times it was a tremendous success. We have raised thousands of dollars, and they have gone toward the purchase of two new vans for the children’s ministry and Belize to use to make sure the kids have a method of getting to the ministry. But we are not done yet, there are still so many ways to help both organizations. Each year we have the event we find new ways to be more efficient for all parties involved. I am excited to see what the future holds for extra innings 4 orphans, and to eventually go back to both the orphanage and the ministry to see the changes we have created in person. It is my hope that this will be a long and fruitful partnership.