The Blessings of a Raffle Fundraiser
Thank you to Bastyr University student, Rachel Collins for a terrific â€œImpact a Lifeâ€ college scholarship essay. Rachel is a Health Professions and Clinical Sciences major.
Thanks Rachel for your contribution, and best of luck with your studies!
In the world of successful raffle fundraising campaigns, nonprofits can be graciously rewarded with not only huge monetary wins for their charity but also a wealth of newfound public awareness of the organization or event. Thanks to raffle fundraising, I was able to raise over $6,000 dollars for an orphanage I lived at called Malayaka House in Uganda.
In 2013, upon graduation from college and finishing my first year as a first grade teacher, I decided to buy a ticket to Entebbe, Uganda and live at the Malayaka House orphanage for eight months. There, I fell in love with some of the most amazing hearts I have ever come across. I was lucky enough to teach and tutor these 37 children at the house as well as help build their future homes, teach them to garden, feed, and tuck into bed every night. The children of the house even helped me build a new home for the elderly woman of the neighborhood who was extremely sick due to living conditions — that was the heart of Malayaka House; giving.
Malayaka House has forever changed the way I look at this world and I have so much to repay them for. In turn, the following year that I arrived back in the states, the first thing I did was organize a raffle fundraising event to raise as much money for the organization as I could and to just plain and simply get Malayaka House’s name out there to the community. I was the first person from the southern part of the states to stay at Malayaka House so I knew I had a duty to spread the word here in Texas. I decided to do the event at the rock climbing gym I worked out at and had the largest base of community to which I was a part of.
The first, and most important, thing I had to do was find the prizes. I went from place-to-place around the community telling them the story of Malayaka House and 9 out of 10 places would always give some sort of gift to the raffle prizes amounting to more than $50. Not only was I able to receive these prizes for the event but also not spread the world to multitudes of companies around the area. I also put up flyers everywhere I visited which created an entirely new ripple effect. Second, getting the word out about the event. Considering a brand new Go-Pro, climbing shoes, gift cards, free food and free bikes were all part of the prize lists, it wasn’t hard to convince an outdoorsy, young climbing gym to come to the event and pay $10 for a raffle ticket. The entire room was packed like sardines with people excited to not only win a prize but to also hear our founder of Malayaka House, Robert Fleming speak about the journey of how Malayaka House came to be.
This experience forever changed my life. It felt like for the first time, I could do something bigger than just helping myself or doing something small and passing for someone else. This money we helped raise together significantly changed the life of the children at Malayaka House. This money meant fruits and vegetables with meals for a few months, new books for the library, helping pay for tuition, haircuts for the kids, all the things we take advantage of here in the states they now got because of the money and awareness raised during the event and after. And due to the event and use of social media to spread the word, volunteers, donations, and even more monetary gifts were given after the event months later.
Malayaka House will forever be in my heart and knowing that the power to change their future could literally be in the hands of just simply holding a raffle fundraising campaign is actually life-changing.
â€œImpact a Lifeâ€ Scholarship contributor:Â Rachel Collins
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