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The Power of Working Together

“Impact a Life” college scholarship essayist Hannah DelPrincipe takes an interesting and informative look at the following essay topic:

Chronicle a successful raffle fundraising campaign you or a family member has been a part of. What results were achieved? How did it help the organization and/or the community it was meant to benefit? How did the experience enrich you?

Hannah is a Health Professions and Clinical Sciences student at Manchester Community College.  Thank you Hannah, and best of luck with your studies!

“Impact a Life” Scholarship contributor:  Hannah DelPrincipe
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Recently, my mom revealed to my three siblings and I that she would be trying to go back to school. We were all over the moon with pride and excitement, she was proud of herself as well for finally acting on the dream that she has held onto for over fifteen years. The only problem was that she didn’t have a laptop, or access to a computer, to take her classes, which would all be online. It was the only thing holding her back, and after a few weeks she was forced to tell us that she didn’t think she would be able to do it after all, there was no way she would be able to afford a laptop. This was when my siblings and I sat down and came up with the idea to start a GoFundMe for her. We hoped to raise $500 and surprise her with a laptop that would be able to get her through another 4 – 6 years of schooling. Neither my siblings or I have a Facebook, so the only platform we had was through the social blogging site Tumblr. We were convinced that all our follower bases combined, we get could the GoFundMe the attention it needed to raise $500.

That night, I made a post about her situation, and asked for people to either donate or reblog the post so that it would garner more attention. It did not get as much attention as I had hoped as the hours crawled by but later that night, we got our first donation of $20.00. We were so excited, we thought that maybe, despite the chances being slim, we would be able to raise enough money to buy our mom a laptop so she could go back to school.

We could do nothing but wait patiently, and while the post soon got about 150 reblogs/likes, momentum was slowing. We clearly weren’t ready to just accept defeat, so I reached out so a few extremely popular bloggers asking them if they could put the post on their blog so that their vast number of followers would see and be able to get the word out to an even larger audience. A few kind souls did help us out, and we were able to slowly gain more and more donations; $10.00, $5.00, $15.00.

Although the post ended up reaching 551 people, we never reached our goal. Instead, something even more miraculous happened. I received a message from someone I had never met or talked to before. It was a girl who had seen my post, offering to donate her old, but still well-functioning laptop to my mom. I remember my siblings and I reading it in awe and amazement – a complete stranger was willing to give my mom the opportunity to go back to school. My mom listened to us explain what we had been doing with tears in her eyes, there was just no words to express how grateful we all were. In the end, it was just this one person that we had to find in order to achieve our goal. Currently, we are just waiting for the laptop to arrive, and then my mom can begin registering for online classes.

This fundraising campaign has affected me such that I am aware now more than ever the power of both working together, and asking for help. I believe that humanity is largely good and giving, and this journey has proved that to me. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength and acknowledgement, and that is what this process has taught me the most.