Give Back to the Community Through Raffles and Fundraisers
Many thanks to Rebekah Butler for a well thought out and informative â€œImpact a Lifeâ€ college scholarship essay that highlights why selling raffle tickets for your fundraiser is a great way to raise money.
Rebekah outlines some wonderful, insightful and personal reasons as to why holding a raffle is a fantastic way to raise money for a non-profit.
Rebekah is a student at Gordon College and is pursuing a career in Education. Best of luck Rebekah!
â€œImpact a Lifeâ€ Scholarship contributor: Rebekah Butler
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My family became involved in the Ledyard Public Schools in 2001, when we returned to our Connecticut home after military service. We had two children enrolled in Ledyard Public Schools at the time. I started kindergarten at age 4, which allowed my mom time to become a room parent. As a room parent, my mom helped with the annual basket raffle. She would suggest themes for baskets, collect items, and help assemble the basket for each class she volunteered with. One year, my sister Emily’s class donated books for a home library. My class did a movie night basket. Another year, my class chose gift certificates to area stores and restaurants for our basket raffle. It was a challenge to make two baskets of equal value, yet decorated to appeal to boys or girls. Each class donated a basket with a different theme to help raise money. There were many creative baskets and gift certificates donated each spring. Families from both schools were urged to come out, buy raffle tickets, and support this worthy fundraiser.
When the basket raffle first started at the Gales Ferry and Juliet W. Long Schools, the profits were small, under $3,000. As more families and area businesses contributed to the basket raffle, more raffle tickets were sold; the profits grew each year. The basket raffle became a major fundraiser for the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Money raised from this raffle fundraiser and other PTO events, provide funds to the local elementary schools without increasing the school budget or straining the town finances. By the time I was promoted to middle school, the Basket Raffle was earning $5000 to $6000 each year.
This experience has enriched me in several ways. By contributing to the class gift baskets and purchasing raffle tickets, our family joined other parents and students to support our school. In sixth grade, I won two tickets to Project Oceanography with a boat ride from the University of Connecticut Avery Point campus to Ledge Light lighthouse with my parents. We were thrilled to explore this historic lighthouse that we see from the Avery Point campus. My second prize from the basket raffle was two tickets, front row seats to the Connecticut Sun’s women’s basketball team. We saw the team play at Mohegan Sun Arena. I went with my mother and had an excellent time.
When I graduated from Juliet Long School and moved up to middle school, my family and I would still attend the basket raffle and other school events, including the Book Fair. We feel that it is important to contribute to our local schools and support the young families in our neighborhood. We believe it is important to support the many good teachers that have blessed our family over many years. Now that I am in college, I am studying elementary education in hope to work with children in my community to give back.
By supporting the school Book Fairs, we can help the PTO, buy books for our family, and donate books to the Giving Tree for needy families. I became interested in volunteer work, and was able to help my church and community. I joined the 4-H Ladybugs Club, Key Club, YUGA, and Bible Club which did volunteer work in Ledyard community and for school events. Through my church, I did volunteer work for short-term mission trips with Work Camp North East. These experiences inspired because I saw my family volunteer with raffles and other fundraisers while I was in elementary school. Now that I am in college and studying to be an elementary school teacher, I am planning to give back to the community through other raffles and fundraisers.